As we continue to grapple with the global pandemic, other viruses are threatening the lives of species. In the past few days, lakhs of birds including poultry, ducks, and migratory birds, have lost their lives due to avian influenza, commonly known as the bird flu. The bird flu has heightened anxiety about the consumption of chicken and eggs. But can the virus spread through meat and egg consumption? Here’s all you need to know.
Avian Influenza – A Respiratory Disease In Birds
Also known as Avian Influenza, bird flu is a viral infection that causes respiratory diseases among birds. China witnessed the first outbreak in 1996 and ever since the bird flu outbreak has been occurring periodically in the rest of the world. Some birds carry the virus and spread it to other birds through their droppings.
Human-To-Human Contact Of H5NI Strain Not Prominent
The H5N1 strain of the virus can transfer across species and also infect humans. But the virus is not that contagious. The first bird flu infection in a human in 1977 was in a poultry farm worker. The worker caught the virus by handling infected birds. Therefore, those who work closely with birds are most at risk. No human-to-human transmission of bird flu is known to exist at present. Baroda Zoo Celebrates Baby Hippo’s Birthday With Special Cake & Laddoos.
The Virus Dies When Cooked Over 70-Degree Celsius
In India, human infection through the H5N1 virus is low when compared to Southeast Asian countries. It is because of the eating habits of Indians. Undercooked poultry products can pose some risk, but the virus dies at 70-degree Celsius. Indians mostly eat well-cooked preparations exposed over 100-degree Celsius, unlike Southeast Asian countries. Therefore, the chances of contracting the virus are scarce. The virus cannot survive in high temperatures.
It Can Be Safe To Eat Well-Cooked Poultry And Eggs
If you are consuming poultry, make sure it’s well done. Till date, there is no evidence of anyone becoming infected following the consumption of properly cooked poultry products, even when the products were infected the avian influenza virus. The World Health Organisation has maintained that it is ‘safe’ to eat chicken and eggs if properly prepared and cooked. Mad For Eggs? Head To Eggers Madhouse!
To put things straight, you can only get the virus if you contact infected birds. So, be sure to avoid the zoos, bird sanctuaries and poultry markets. There is no need to panic as there is no human-to-human contact prominent with the current strain.