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 The cytoskeleton of neurons has been found to be involved in Alzheimer's disease
18.01.2019 | University of the Basque Country

nachricht Bioinspired nanoscale drug delivery method developed by WSU, PNNL researchers
10.01.2019 | Washington State University

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: Ten-year anniversary of the Neumayer Station III

The scientific and political community alike stress the importance of German Antarctic research

Joint Press Release from the BMBF and AWI

The Antarctic is a frigid continent south of the Antarctic Circle, where researchers are the only inhabitants. Despite the hostile conditions, here the Alfred...

Im Focus: Ultra ultrasound to transform new tech

World first experiments on sensor that may revolutionise everything from medical devices to unmanned vehicles

The new sensor - capable of detecting vibrations of living cells - may revolutionise everything from medical devices to unmanned vehicles.

Im Focus: Flying Optical Cats for Quantum Communication

Dead and alive at the same time? Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics have implemented Erwin Schrödinger’s paradoxical gedanken experiment employing an entangled atom-light state.

In 1935 Erwin Schrödinger formulated a thought experiment designed to capture the paradoxical nature of quantum physics. The crucial element of this gedanken...

Im Focus: Nanocellulose for novel implants: Ears from the 3D-printer

Cellulose obtained from wood has amazing material properties. Empa researchers are now equipping the biodegradable material with additional functionalities to produce implants for cartilage diseases using 3D printing.

It all starts with an ear. Empa researcher Michael Hausmann removes the object shaped like a human ear from the 3D printer and explains:

Im Focus: Elucidating the Atomic Mechanism of Superlubricity

The phenomenon of so-called superlubricity is known, but so far the explanation at the atomic level has been missing: for example, how does extremely low friction occur in bearings? Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institutes IWM and IWS jointly deciphered a universal mechanism of superlubricity for certain diamond-like carbon layers in combination with organic lubricants. Based on this knowledge, it is now possible to formulate design rules for supra lubricating layer-lubricant combinations. The results are presented in an article in Nature Communications, volume 10.

One of the most important prerequisites for sustainable and environmentally friendly mobility is minimizing friction. Research and industry have been dedicated...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Our digital society in 2040

16.01.2019 | Event News

11th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Aachen, 3-4 April 2019

14.01.2019 | Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Additive manufacturing reflects fundamental metallurgical principles to create materials

18.01.2019 | Materials Sciences

How molecules teeter in a laser field

18.01.2019 | Life Sciences

The cytoskeleton of neurons has been found to be involved in Alzheimer's disease

18.01.2019 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>