The health secretary did not directly respond to a question on whether special immigration controls would be required to prevent a local bird flu outbreak being spread by foreign workers. Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food York Chow Yat-ngok stressed that bird flu was primarily a disease among poultry and birds. In yesterday's Legislative Council session, Democratic Party legislator Andrew Cheng Kar-foo had asked if controls on 'imported labourers from infected areas' were in place. There are about 240,000 foreign domestic helpers in Hong Kong, most of them from the Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand. Since late 2003, 121 people have been infected with the H5N1 bird flu strain in Southeast Asia and 64, most in Vietnam and Thailand, have died. Dr Chow did not answer Mr Cheng's question, but reiterated that no case of human-to-human transmission had occurred. 'Although there have been sporadic cases of human infection in Southeast Asia and other places since early 2004, there is as yet no evidence showing that the virus is capable of efficient human-to-human transmission.' Dr Chow said a leaflet entitled 'What you should know about Avian Influenza' was in six languages including Bahasa Indonesian and Thai. The leaflets have been distributed to domestic helpers through district offices, consulates and the Hong Kong Federation of Employers. They will also be distributed at immigration checkpoints. The Department of Health plans to translate it into more languages. Meanwhile, Luk Che-chung, who heads a group of Hospital Authority facilities in Kowloon East, said public hospitals there would be able to handle a flu pandemic by designating more medical wards.