Avian Influenza : The Do’s And Don’ts !


Introduction:

Avian influenza is an infection caused by avian (bird) influenza (flu) A viruses.

This influenza A viruses occur naturally among birds. Avian influenza is very contagious among birds and some of these viruses can make certain domesticated bird species, including chickens, ducks, and turkeys, very sick and kill them.

Infected birds can shed influenza virus in their saliva, nasal secretions, and feces.
The risk from avian influenza is generally low to most people, because the viruses do not usually infect humans. However, confirmed cases of human infection from several subtypes of avian influenza infection have been reported since 1997.

Who are the susceptible people?

People who directly handle poultry.

What could the symptoms be?

  •  Influenza Symptoms :Fever, Cough,Sore throat, muscle aches
  • Eye infections,
  • Pneumonia,
  • Severe respiratory diseases (such as acute respiratory distress)

What are the Do’s and Don’ts ?

Do’s: Even if poultry and eggs were to be contaminated with the virus, proper cooking would kill it. Follow the procedure below :

  • Wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling raw poultry and eggs.
  • Clean cutting boards and other utensils with soap and hot water to keep raw poultry from contaminating other foods.
  • Use a food thermometer to make sure you cook poultry to a temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit Consumers may wish to cook poultry to a higher temperature for personal preference.
  • Cook eggs until whites and yolks are firm.
  • Try eating alternatives to meat like Tofu during the epidemic season.

Don’ts:

Most cases of avian influenza infection in humans have resulted from direct or close contact with infected poultry or surfaces contaminated with secretions and excretions from infected birds. So please stay away from direct contact with poultry.

Stay Safe People !

For more Information, check the CDC site : (http://www.cdc.gov/flu/avian/ )

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