The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation released a statement Tuesday warning people of an increased risk of bird flu through December to April. The statement warned against eating or letting children play with sick or dead chickens or ducks. It also urged poultry vendors to be vigilant in handling produce. "If there is a suspicious case, send sick people to the nearest health centre or referral hospital," the statement advised. The ministry hotlines are: 012 488 981 and 012 836 868.