The consumption of poultry products is considered safe during bird flu. Provided it is consumed after proper cooking. The bird flu virus is heat sensitive and gets killed above 70 degrees Celcius. The virus normally does not spread from human to human. However, people who handle poultry products should take precautions like- wearing masks, sanitization, frequent handwashing with soap and water, and not touching their face, etc.
The consumption of poultry products is considered safe during bird flu outbreaks.
According to the WHO ( World health organization ), cooking poultry like- Chicken, ducks, and geese at or above 70 degrees celsius is a safe measure to kill the virus in areas with outbreaks in poultry. There is no evidence to suggest the spread of the bird flu virus through properly cooked food.
The Covid-19 pandemic is still prevailing. India is facing yet another problem of bird flu. Few states have reported confirmed cases of bird flu. It is mainly found in wild birds, crows, or migratory birds.
The chances of infection from the bird flu virus are comparatively low in India. Than other southeast Asian countries. It is mainly due to culinary habits in India. In India, mostly well-cooked meat is consumed. Which is generally exposed to around 100 degrees Celcius. However raw poultry product handling requires all precautions like- sanitization, frequent hand washing, wearing masks, and avoiding touching face.
What is Bird flu?
The bird flu is also called avian influenza. It is a viral infection, mostly found in wild aquatic birds all over the world. It can infect domestic birds and animals. The most common strain of the virus that causes severe respiratory disease in birds is H5N1. The other strains like H7 and H8 may also cause infection. The recent samples of infected birds in India in the states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Kerela were found to be A(H5N8) strain and in Himanchal Pradesh A(H5N1).
Can bird flu infect humans?
The spread of bird flu in humans is rare and not easy. Human to human transmission is not common. It can infect people who work in close contact with infected birds- dead or alive. Or to people who consume half or partially cooked meat of the infected bird.
According to WHO (World health organization), bird flu can be transmitted from one person to another person. But cases found are very rare. From 2003 to 2019, WHO confirmed a total of app. 860 human cases infected by the H5N1 virus (bird flu) worldwide. Out of which 455 deaths were recorded.
The viral infection (bird flu) was first reported in China in 1996 in geese. Since then the outbreak has been reported periodically all over the world. The viral infection can be transmitted to humans through the handling of infected birds or through their carcasses.
In humans, the first case was reported in Hongkong in the year 1997. The infection caused by the bird flu on getting transmitted to humans has a mortality rate of around 60%. Which is the major cause of concern. The prevailing Covid-19 pandemic has a mortality rate of around 2% to 3% in general.
The virus has the potential to mutate. Which during the Covid-19 pandemic can be a serious threat.
What are the symptoms of bird flu in humans?
Bird flu after getting transmitted to humans cause Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Similar to Covid-19. In Covid-19, the coronavirus causes Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS-CoV-2). The common symptoms of bird flu may be fever, runny nose, sore throat, cough, shortness of breath, muscle ache, etc. Some people may suffer from abdominal pain and or diarrhea. All these symptoms may appear in the case of Covid-19 also.
However, the receptors of bird flu caused by the H5N1 virus are deep inside the lungs. Whereas the H1N1 virus that causes swine flu has receptors in the upper respiratory tract such as the nasal cavities of humans. The same is the case with Covid-19 also. For more reading on- Keep corona away- Avoid touching your face. <= Please click.
Measures for safe consumption of poultry products during bird flu.
The well-cooked poultry product- Like chicken or egg is safe for consumption during bird flu. Avoid half-cooked or partially cooked egg or chicken meat. Proper care must be taken while handling raw poultry products. The cutting boards and utensils and all other surfaces that come in contact with raw meat must be thoroughly cleaned with hot water and soap. Eggshells may contain birds dropping, thus they must be properly handled and washed with soap and hot water. The consumption of raw or half-cooked meat or eggs must be avoided in any form.
Maintaining distance with birds is very important. The virus from infected birds spreads through saliva and feces. Precautions should be taken to avoid touching them. The bird flu virus is airborne. Thus do not directly come in contact with any sick or dead bird. Use masks, gloves, and disinfectants to avoid any risk of infection.
Inform the local authorities in the case, if any sick or dead bird is found. Please consult your healthcare provider in case of any health issue.
For awareness purposes only.
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Having 40+ years of experience in the healthcare industry. Both Modern medicine and Ayurveda.
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