India has recently reported the outbreak of bird flu or avian influenza in different states. So far, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala and Rajasthan have confirmed the outbreak. The Centre has issued an advisory and set up a control room in the national capital to monitor the situation and restrain the spread. However, no cases of bird flu transmission in humans have been reported yet. What is bird flu? According to the World Health Organisation, it is a type of influenza virus (H5N1 virus) that causes severe respiratory disease in birds.
Bird flu cases in human occur occasionally. It transmits in humans when the person gets in close contact with the dead or live bird, affected with the H5N1 virus. However, person to person transmission of the infection has not been reported yet.
It brings up a question whether is it safe to consume chicken, duck, eggs or any kind of poultry during this time? Let's find out what the WHO recommends.
WHO Advisory On Eating Eggs And Chicken:
"It is safe to eat properly prepared and cooked poultry and game birds," a statement on the WHO website reads. The virus is said to be heat sensitive; hence cooking your food in at least 70 degree Celsius (normal cooking temperature) can kill the virus in your food. The organisation further recommends preparing chicken, egg etc following complete hygiene practice.
"A large number of human infections with the H5N1 virus have been linked to the home slaughter and subsequent handling of diseased or dead birds prior to cooking. These practices represent the highest risk of human infection and are the most important to avoid," WHO stated.
Animal husbandry, fisheries and dairy minister Giriraj Singh recently stated that there's nothing to worry about the situation. One needs to cook meat and egg completely before eating to avoid any complication.
"There are death reports of wild and migratory birds due to bird flu at some places. There is no need to panic. It is advised to fully cook meat and eggs before eating. States have been informed and are being provided with necessary help and support." he tweeted in Hindi.
कुछ जगहों पर बर्ड फ़्लू से ज़्यादातर प्रवासी और जंगली पक्षियों के मरने की रिपोर्ट आयी है।मीट और अंडे को पूरी तरह पका कर खाएँ। घबराने की कोई बात नहीं है। राज्यों को सतर्क कर हर सम्भव मदद की जा रही है।— Shandilya Giriraj Singh (@girirajsinghbjp) January 6, 2021