mid sporadic rise in the cases of Avian Influenza (Bird flu) across the country, the health experts advised public to take precaution and not panic.
From January this year, the news regarding Avain Influenza has triggered panic among the public. The experts however said that properly prepared and cooked poultry meat and eggs are safe to eat.
The Union territory has been among the twelve states confirmed to have avian influenza in crow/migratory/wild birds.
Senior health experts told Good Morning Kashmir that the poultry meat and eggs from the areas affected by the outbreak of bird flu should not be consumed raw or cooked partially.
Amid the outbreak of bird flu, the Central government had also assured that no infection has yet been reported in humans and that there is no direct evidence that the avian influenza virus transmits to humans via consumption of contaminated poultry products.
On January 7, the Jammu and Kashmir administration had banned the import of poultry after the Centre had issued advisories asking local authorities to keep a close vigil to contain the spread of avian influenza or bird flu. However the government later lifted it when six states including neighboring Punjab confirmed avian influenza in poultry.
The ban as per the poultry farmers resulted in huge losses.
According to local poultry farmers a “wrong message” has gone to the consumers which has led to heavy losses.
“Poultry farmers started to bear the brunt of government ban since January 7 (the day when govt imposed ban on poultry), due to which we are reporting a huge decline in business,” said Mohammad Ashraf Dar,a poultry farmer in north Kashmir’s Baramulla.
Director Animal Husbandry Kashmir, Purnima Mittal said, “We have deputed a team of 83 members in every district, they are keeping eye on people dealing with Poultry farms.”
According to Dr Taseem, Avian Influenza viruses have been circulating worldwide for centuries with four known major outbreaks recorded in the last century.
“Infection in humans is not yet reported in India though the disease is zoonotic. There is no evidence that AI viruses can be transmitted to humans via the consumption of contaminated poultry products,” he said. Adding that the disease spreads mainly by migratory birds coming during winter months.
Avian influenza virus is sensitive to heat, it is advisable to cook the meat until it is no longer pink,said an another expert.
“Avian influenza viruses can survive freezing and refrigeration. In fact, low temperatures increase the virus’s stability, so the act of freezing fresh meat alone won’t eliminate the virus,” he said. Adding that people handling raw poultry products should thoroughly wash their hands with soap and warm water, and disinfect the working space.