People in Thailand are warned of possible bird flu outbreak as winter provides ideal conditions for flu virus.

The Thai Ministry of Public Health has advised people to seek medical treatment if they have any flu-like symptoms after eating or touching sick poultry. The warning came after the H5N8 virus was found in a chicken farm in the Netherlands.

Permanent Secretary for Public Health Narong Sahamethapat said only H5N1 flu virus strain was discovered in Thailand six years ago, cautioning that even though there are no reports of patients with bird flu, migratory birds and colder weather could bring the virus to the country.

People living near the border should pay extra attention as deadly flu cases were still found in such neighbouring countries as Cambodia, Indonesia and Vietnam.

The Department of Disease Control and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment have been instructed to monitor border communities, especially in provinces where the avian flu was once detected.

People are encouraged to call a 24-hour hotline at 1422 for advice on medical treatment or to report to the authorities if sick birds or humans are found.-VNA