Amid the COVID-19 health crisis, the new outbreak of the deadly bird flu has left us all stressed and concerned for our well-being. While the source of this animal-borne disease is yet to be pinpointed, the role of migratory birds in passing on the virus is suspected. Several states across the country have reported an outbreak, prompting the authorities to cull ducks, hens, and other domestic birds.
Meanwhile, we also should also get aware of how we can fight this problem in the safest way possible. For the best advice, HerZindagi exclusively spoke to Dr Dipesh Mahendra Waghmare, a Medical Advisor Executive at Millennium Herbal Care.
“The greatest risk factor for bird flu seems to be in contact with sick birds or with surfaces contaminated by their feathers, saliva or droppings. Human infections with bird flu viruses can happen when enough virus gets into a person’s eyes, nose or mouth, or is inhaled. This can happen when the virus is in the air (in droplets or possibly dust) and a person breathes it in, or when a person touches something that has the virus on it then touches their mouth, eyes or nose,” explained Dr Waghmare.
Rare human infections with bird flu viruses have occurred, most often after unprotected contact with infected birds or surfaces contaminated with bird flu influenza viruses. Also, in very few instances, “bird flu has been transmitted from one human to another. While the government is doing its bit to stop the spread of the disease, it is important that you should take certain measures to help you prevent dealing with the current bird flu scare,” said the Medical Advisor and suggested these precautionary measures:
Wash Your Hands
Wash your hands often with water and soap, especially before and after handling food, in particular raw poultry. Touching raw meat products and then touching the mouth, nose or eyes may allow the virus to enter into the body and causes diseases.
Avoid Contact With Live Birds And Poultry
Avoid visiting poultry farms or any bird market, as these areas may be contaminated with the droppings and feathers which can potentially harmful if gets inside humans through eyes, nose or mouth.
Keep Surroundings Clean
Keep your house clean and regularly disinfect the surfaces to kill all the bacteria and viruses which may enter your body and cause illness. Also, don't forget to maintain proper ventilation in the house.
Make Sure Egg & Poultry Meat Is Cooked Until Steaming Hot
Consuming properly cooked poultry from infected birds doesn't transmit the bird flu virus. Proper cooking inactivates the virus present inside the eggs and meat. Eggs should not be consumed raw or partially cooked (i.e., with runny yolk). Meat is considered safe if it has been cooked to an internal temperature of 165ºF (73.9ºC).
Eat A Balanced Diet
Consume food rich in essential nutrients like amino acid, selenium, zinc and vitamin A, C, D and B12 such as carrots, spinach, broccoli, red peppers, oranges, strawberries, lemons, nuts, seeds, and sea fish that helps to maintain the healthy immune function and provides resistance to infection.
Keep Your Health In Check
If you are involved in handling poultry products, it is necessary that you should monitor your health. However, if you feel any kind of flu symptoms like cough (home remedies for cough), high fever or headache, it is advised to visit a medical expert before the symptoms become critical.
If there is someone around you, who has the bird flu and you are taking care of the person, then it is mandatory to “wear a mask (how to make your face mask comfortable) at all times around the person. You can help stop the spread by covering your face while sneezing or coughing. Though the disease can carry a high mortality rate in humans, it is still largely rare and can be treated by medical professionals if detected at the early stages,” concluded Dr Dipesh Mahendra Waghmare, a Medical Advisor Executive at Millennium Herbal Care.