Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Expert dispels bird flu paranoia

03.11.2005


The risk of human bird flu infection is small in Australia and people can still safely eat chicken and keep pet birds, according to bird medicine specialist Dr Bob Doneley.

"The chances of getting bird flu off a pet bird or your neighbours birds are so infinitesimally small," UQ School of Veterinary Science Adjunct Professor Dr Doneley said.

"You’re more likely to have a light plane hit by a meteor and fall on your head than somebody getting bird flu off their cockatiel."



Dr Doneley, Queensland’s only registered bird specialist, said he wanted to clear up some of the confusion and unnecessary panic about the virus.

He said bird flu was a viral disease of all birds, usually spread by water birds but normally only causing disease in poultry.

Contaminated water is the most common source of infection from bird droppings but it can be spread physically on boots or other clothing.

The virus is stable in water for up to 200 days and in droppings for four to five days, but can be stopped by heat, sunlight and most detergents.

Authorities have confirmed the dangerous H5NI strain of bird flu in South East Asia, Russia and Eastern Europe but not in Australia.

They fear an epidemic if this strain mutates to spread into a people-to-people virus.

"We need to be very alert for bird flu in poultry because the more people who get it from birds, the higher the chance that the virus could change."

Dr Doneley said the public were paranoid about catching bird flu off their neighbours’ backyard pets because the media had "played up" the virus.

He said his West Toowoomba Vet Surgery had been swamped with inquiries from panicked bird owners and neighbours about their pet parrots, finches and budgies.

"We’re getting three or four phone calls a day from people wanting to know if they should sell their house because their neighbours have got birds.

Some ways that bird owners can minimise risk are:

  • Build pens to keep domesticated poultry away from wild birds.
  • Stop domesticated poultry from accessing open ponds, lakes or creeks.
  • Keep domestic waterfowl separate from poultry where the waterfowl have access to the same water as wild waterbirds.
  • Be alert for bird flu symptoms in poultry such as coughing, sneezing, noisy breathing, increased tear production, swollen sinuses and head, decreased egg production, diarrhoea, convulsions, head arched backwards, unable to fly or walk properly, facial and comb swelling and mouth and comb turning blue and report any worries to your local government biosecurity officer.
  • Don’t eat raw or undercooked chicken.
  • Don’t use untreated water, use clean town water or bore water.

"Consumers of poultry meat and egg products should not be concerned as the risk of infection from eating poultry products is extremely low," Dr Doneley said.

"The avian influenza virus, like most other viruses and bacteria) is destroyed by adequate heating or cooking."

Bob Doneley | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.researchaustralia.com.au/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Malaria Already Endemic in the Mediterranean by the Roman Period
27.07.2017 | Universität Zürich

nachricht Serious children’s infections also spreading in Switzerland
26.07.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Physicists Design Ultrafocused Pulses

Physicists working with researcher Oriol Romero-Isart devised a new simple scheme to theoretically generate arbitrarily short and focused electromagnetic fields. This new tool could be used for precise sensing and in microscopy.

Microwaves, heat radiation, light and X-radiation are examples for electromagnetic waves. Many applications require to focus the electromagnetic fields to...

Im Focus: Carbon Nanotubes Turn Electrical Current into Light-emitting Quasi-particles

Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers

Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...

Im Focus: Flexible proximity sensor creates smart surfaces

Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.

At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Programming cells with computer-like logic

27.07.2017 | Life Sciences

Identified the component that allows a lethal bacteria to spread resistance to antibiotics

27.07.2017 | Life Sciences

Malaria Already Endemic in the Mediterranean by the Roman Period

27.07.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>