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 How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism
19.01.2018 | Weill Cornell Medicine

nachricht Researchers identify new way to unmask melanoma cells to the immune system
17.01.2018 | Duke University Medical Center

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: Optical Nanoscope Allows Imaging of Quantum Dots

Physicists have developed a technique based on optical microscopy that can be used to create images of atoms on the nanoscale. In particular, the new method allows the imaging of quantum dots in a semiconductor chip. Together with colleagues from the University of Bochum, scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute reported the findings in the journal Nature Photonics.

Microscopes allow us to see structures that are otherwise invisible to the human eye. However, conventional optical microscopes cannot be used to image...

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rutgers scientists discover 'Legos of life'

23.01.2018 | Life Sciences

Seabed mining could destroy ecosystems

23.01.2018 | Earth Sciences

Transportable laser

23.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>