The panic created by bird flu is understandable. To prevent an epidemic, the Centre should impose a total ban on poultry imports and order the culling of all poultry birds for some time.

R.T. Narayanan,
Chennai

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Unless contained as early as possible, the disease will spread like wildfire. The need for cooperation of the public cannot be over-emphasised. We have the technical know-how to overcome the situation and should avoid panic.

M.P.R. Nair,
Kochi, Kerala

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The news that the dreaded bird flu has already taken a toll of 50,000 birds in Maharashtra is alarming. If the deaths have been occurring for over a week, it is not clear why whistles and bells were not sounded much earlier.

R. Ramachandra Rao,
Hyderabad

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This refers to the report "Indian style of cooking kills the virus" (Feb. 20). Chicken cooked well should be safe to eat but what if we do not know the meat is infected? The same applies to eggs. Eggshells are usually contaminated with droppings, which make them very unsafe to handle.

Titus John,
Tiruvalla, Kerala

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The health authorities should spread awareness about bird flu among the poor who may fall for the steep drop in prices of chicken and egg.

V. Vijayendra Rao,
Neyveli, T.N.