The commercial nerve centre of Nigeria, is on the news for, recording new incidence of bird/Avian flu. Avian flu, H5N1 strain, deadly as it is, has affected a handful of birds.

Mr Olugbenga Ogunsetan, the Executive Secretary of the Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) Lagos State chapter, confirmed this to NAN on Tuesday in Lagos.
He said that several poultry farms were affected by the avian influenza in Ikorodu area of the state.

“Over 60,000 birds were lost in August after the avian influenza ravaged the farms. “This has largely affected production of poultry products and leading to price hike in the area,’’ Ogunsetan told NAN.

It seems this is the season for Avian flu outbreaks, that is, the rainy season. Since the condition is caused by a virus, it is best you stay away from the source point.
You should consider these public health tips, if you are going to areas or regions with Avian flu epidemic;

  • Avoid domesticated birds. If possible, avoid rural areas, small farms and open-air markets.
  • Wash your hands. This is one of the simplest and best ways to prevent infections of all kinds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60 percent alcohol when you travel.
  • Ask about a flu shot. Before traveling, ask your doctor about a flu shot. It won’t protect you specifically from bird flu, but it may help reduce the risk of simultaneous infection with bird and human flu viruses.
  • Avoid cross-contamination. Use hot, soapy water to wash cutting boards, utensils and all surfaces that have come into contact with raw poultry.
  • Cook thoroughly. Cook chicken until the juices run clear, and it reaches a minimum internal temperature of 165 F (74 C).
  • Steer clear of raw eggs. Because eggshells are often contaminated with bird droppings, avoid foods containing raw or undercooked eggs.

And always remember that heat destroys avian viruses; Cooked poultry is NOT a threat.



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