Telangana issues advisory amid Bird Flu outbreak in neighbouring States

Updated - June 08, 2024 04:34 pm IST

Published - June 07, 2024 08:52 pm IST - HYDERABAD

Following an outbreak of Avian Influenza (H5N1), or Bird Flu, in the neighbouring States of Andhra Pradesh (Nellore), Maharashtra (Nagpur), Kerala (Alappuzha, Kottayam, and Pathanamthitta), and Jharkhand (Ranchi), the Telangana Health department on Friday has issued an advisory to take precautions. As of now, the flu has not been detected in Telangana, according to a Health department official.

High-risk populations include commercial birds (chickens and ducks), backyard birds (pigeons and other species), wild/migratory birds, live bird markets, particularly those near borders, poultry farm handlers, and poultry keepers.

Preventive measures include avoiding close contact with infected or suspected birds or animals, especially their droppings, saliva, and other secretions. The public is advised against consuming raw or undercooked poultry products such as chicken and eggs. Cooking poultry to 70° Celsius kills the bird flu virus, making the food safe. After handling poultry and eggs, thorough washing of hands and other exposed parts with soap and water is recommended.

The advisory also advises avoiding shaking hands, sharing food, water, and clothes with others when sick or when others are sick. Frequent handwashing and the use of hand sanitizers are essential to prevent infection. People should avoid spitting outside and cover their mouths while sneezing or coughing to prevent spreading the virus.

“If anyone presents with a fever (body temperature of 100.4°F or higher) and symptoms such as muscle aches, cough, abnormal breathing, or suspected pneumonia, particularly with a history of direct contact with infected or dead birds in the past seven days, unusual bird deaths in the community within the past 14 days, or contact with a pneumonia patient or another suspected bird flu patient, they should visit the nearest government hospital for medical attention,” Director of Public Health and Family Welfare B. Ravinder Nayak said.

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