How to Prevent Bird Flu (Avian Influenza) With the recent outbreak of Bird Flu in China, here's some tips on how to prevent bird flu:
1. Know if you are at risk. If you come into contact with any of the following, you may be at risk of becoming infected with the virus:
Infected domesticated birds, such as chickens, turkeys, or ducks. Cages and food or water containers used by infected birds. Dirt or bedding used by infected birds. The carcass of a bird that has died from influenza A virus.
2. Know that properly handled and cooked poultry and eggs cannot spread the virus.
3. Be safe. Take the following steps to safeguard against possible infection:
Before and after handling raw poultry and eggs - wash your hands with warm water and soap for a minimum of 20 seconds. Cook your eggs till whites and yolks are firm. Clean cutting boards, tableware and all surfaces with soap and hot water to prevent contamination from raw poultry. Use a food thermometer. Cook poultry to a temperature of at least 165 degrees. When warm water and soap are unavailable, use a waterless alcohol-based (at least 60% alcohol) hand sanitizer.
4. Be awarethat if you are a traveler and plan on visiting an area known to be affected by avian flu virus, you should take the following precautions:
Avoid all direct contact with poultry, both domesticated and wild. Do not visit poultry farms or markets where birds are sold or displayed. Shun any poultry or eggs that have not been thoroughly cooked. Never eat any poultry that is served raw or undercooked. Avoid touching surfaces that have bird droppings or fluids on them. Obey all local health recommendations.
5. Keep in mind that if you breed poultry, work among poultry flocks, or live among a larger number of domesticated birds, it is important to keep a careful watch on them. Outbreaks are rare, but when they do occur it is imperative that immediate action be taken.
Tips:If you suspect you may have come into contact with the influenza A virus, look for the following:
Fever Cough Muscle aches Sore throat Eye infections Pneumonia Severe respiratory diseases
Bird flu cannot be diagnosed by simply observing symptoms, laboratory tests are required. Usually the illness is diagnosed by obtaining a swab from your throat or nose the first few days you are sick.
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