Bird Flu Basics

Few minutes of reading through to build up your knowledge about bird flu.

What is bird flu?

  • A highly contagious poultry disease caused by a virus
  • Can infect a variety of other birds
  • Domestic poultry such as chickens and turkeys most susceptible

What caused this outbreak?

  • Wild waterfowl (the natural hosts of avian-flu viruses) spread the virus while migrating across Asia
  • Live-bird markets played a key role in spreading avian flu, with domesticated poultry excreting the virus, for at least 10 days, in their mucus and feces

How do humans get infected?

  • Through close contact with infected birds e.g. breathing in particles from their droppings
  • Rare for bird flu to infect humans
  • No evidence of human-to- human transmission to date according to WHO

How are bird flu different from human flu virus?

  • There are many different type of flu and is differ by its contained protein
  • The most dangerous flu is H5N1

What are the symptoms of bird flu in humans?

  • Fever, cough, muscle ache, runny nose, and sore throat
  • Some may get eye infections and have difficulty breathing
  • Pneumonia or other complications may occur at a later stage

Can bird flu be cured?

  • Antiviral Drugs such as amantadine and rimantadine are effective against some strains flu, but the current virus keeps mutating and appears resistant to these drugs
  • Tamiflu, an anti-viral drug, appears to be effective, but supplies are limited
  • It takes at least six months to produce a vaccine that’s effective

Past cases of Bird Flu infecting humans
Hong Kong(1997)

  • H5N1 virus infected both chickens and humans
  • First time an avian influenza virus found to transmit directly from birds to humans
  • 18 people hospitalized and 6 died
  • 1.5 million chickens killed
  • Virus spread primarily from birds to humans; rare person-to-person infection noted

Past cases of Bird Flu infecting humans
Netherlands (2003)

  • H7N7 virus infections among poultry workers and their families in the Netherlands during an outbreak of avian flu among poultry
  • More than 80 cases of H7N7 illness reported and 1 patient died

Bird Flu Outbreak 2004

  • In birds: Outbreaks of H5N1 virus confirmed among poultry in Cambodia, China, Hong Kong (in a single peregrine falcon), Indonesia, Japan, Laos, South Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam (as at 4 Feb 2004)
  • In people: Cases of H5N1 infection in Vietnam and Thailand. Deaths have been reported.

The Situation in SOUTH EAST ASIA

Should we be alarmed?

  • Bird flu is NOT a significant public health threat to Some countries. E.g. Brunei & Singapore.
  • There are few poultry farms in brunei, E.g. soon lee & hua ho, and the slaughter of poultry is not carried out in wet markets

What has been done?

  • Imports of live poultry and birds, poultry meat and eggs from bird flu-affected countries banned
  • Stepped-up inspection and testing of imported eggs and poultry at points of entry
  • Stepped-up checks on local poultry farms and slaughterhouses

Chicken caught to be slaughter

What has been done?

  • Farms required to implement biosecurity measures e.g. bird-proofing poultry houses, disinfecting vehicles
  • Farm and slaughterhouse employees briefed on how to recognize signs of bird flu, and required to report unusual deaths or suspicion of the disease
  • Farms closed to visitors

Are we prepared for an outbreak?

  • Within an hour of the first bird flu case being detected, AVA and related agencies will be mobilized to control the situation
  • All hospitals and doctors advised to be on alert
  • Suspected cases will be sent Hospital for assessment, and for isolation if necessary

Culling plans

  • Will start culling all birds in local farms as soon as clinical signs of bird flu appear with positive test results
  • All farms will be “sealed up” during culling
  • Eggs produced will be destroyed
  • Ex-gratia payment will be made to owners of the farms for the poultry culled
  • Measures necessary to eradicate disease, safeguard public health and maintain public confidence

Eating chickens and other poultry

Is it safe to eat chickens, eggs, and other poultry products?

  • The poultry and eggs available in the market are safe to eat
  • No evidence that you can get bird flu by eating chicken, eggs and other poultry

What about canned poultry products?

  • Canned poultry products such as essence of chicken are also safe to eat
  • All canned products undergo a heat treatment process that effectively destroys any viruses

Food Supply

With more countries affected by bird flu, prices may go up temporarily
Shortfall could be met by:

Alternative sources;
Buffer stocks of frozen poultry meat;
Liquid and powdered eggs

Tips for cooking poultry

  • Separate raw food from cooked food
  • Wash your hands before and after preparing food
  • Cook poultry meat thoroughly
  • Avoid eating raw or half-boiled eggs or semi-cooked meat

Live Birds in south east asia

Liked it
RSSPost a Comment
comments powered by Disqus