Saturday, September 25, 2021

Everything was going smoothly until one day in March that changed everything from smooth to everything but smooth. Covid-19 made us sit in our homes, practice social distancing, maintain hygiene, using sanitizers, and whatnot.

From our birthdays to our parent’s marriage anniversaries, every function was celebrated at home, in LOCKDOWN. The whole year after March was a lockdown only. A new strain of Covid-19 was also discovered in the UK. Luckily, vaccination has been developed. We are not yet over with Covid-19 trouble, and the bird flu outbreak is observed again. What will happen in 2021? 

How is the bird flu caused?

Avian Influenza, commonly called Bird Flu or Avian Flu is found in birds. It is due to a virus that is adapted by birds. The most significant risk is in HPAI, Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza. Although this is bird flu, it can harm humans who come in contact with a carrier of this flu, and then it can spread from person to person. 

Based on their pathogenicity, Avian Influenza is classified into two types; High pathogenicity type (HP) along with Low pathogenicity (LP) type. The HPAI strain was found in a farmed goose in Guangdong Province, China, in 1996. Low pathogenicity strains of this virus were also found in the provinces of North America.

The H5N1’s first human case was observed in 1997 during a poultry outbreak in Hong Kong. From that year onwards, it has been found in poultry and wild birds around the globe. Pigeons are unable to transfer this virus to humans or other birds or animals. Although they are not immune to the virus, they do not get ill and cannot transmit it.

History of Bird flu:

WHO reported more than 700 human cases of the H5N1 virus since the year 2003 that are mainly from 15 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, The Pacific, and The Middle East. But the widely remembered date for the starting of avian influenza is in the year 1878. Initially, it was known as the “Foul Plague.”

In 1878, avian influenza was separated from those diseases that had a high mortality rate in birds. Fowl Plague included the Newcastle disease until the year 1950. Between the years 1959 and 1995, 15 occasions were recorded of the HPAI virus outbreak in poultry farms, but no considerable loss was noticed. But after that, between the years 1996 and 2008, 11 occasions of the HPAI virus outbreak has been recorded in poultry farms, out of which 4 times the loss involved millions of birds. The world’s poultry population increased up to 76% in the developing nations and 23% in the developed countries in the year 1990.

This contributed to the increase in the prevalence of bird flu. Before the year 1990, the mortality rate of the HPAI virus was high in poultry farms, but infections were contained. The outbreaks became common because of the constant movement of flocks from poultry production.

The 2021 Outbreak of Bird Flu:

Delhi, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Gujarat, and Himachal Pradesh had confirmed the reason for the recent deaths of birds as Avian Influenza. Delhi is the ninth state to ensure cases of bird flu recently. Eight samples, 3 samples from Sanjay Lake, 1 sample from Dwarka, and 3 samples from Mayur Vihar Phase 3, are found positive for bird flu on Monday morning by Dr. Rakesh Singh, animal husbandry unit of the Development Department. Sanjay Lake has been closed for the visitors for safety measures and precautions.

Since the death of 27 ducks is observed in the last 3-4 days in Sanjay Lake, it has been declared an “alert zone” by the authorities. Ninety-one crows have died within the previous week across DDA parks at Begumpur, Sarita Vihar, Dilshad Garden, and Dwarka. The parks at Dwarka and Hauz Khas have been closed.

The biggest wholesale poultry market, Ghazipur, has also been closed entirely, and Delhi has announced the ban on the import of live birds in that area. Response teams have been formed in every district of Delhi. Our Chief Minister, Mr. Arvind Kejriwal has said that the focus is mainly on Bhalswa Lake, Sanjay Lake, and Hauz Khas.

Culling over 1.6 lakh birds at five poultries in the Panchkula District, Haryana has begun on Saturday, as reported by the news agency PTI. More than 4 lakh birds were found dead in Haryana in the last 2-3 weeks.

The states have decided to provide PPE kits and necessary accessories used in birds’ culling and disposing of bird waste. Also, they have been asked not to let rumors about poultry farming. Instead, they are suggested to spread awareness about safety measures and precautions.

Distinguishing between myths and facts about the new Bird Flu outbreak:

With the rise of bird flu in India’s various states, there has been a rumor surrounding this spread. With chickens and other birds being culled daily, is it safe to consume meat? To bring you the latest updates on this matter, it is essential to distinguish between reality and myth.

The myth is that you cannot consume any poultry products, especially meat and eggs, during the bird flu. However, the fundamental truth is that you can consume both meat and eggs when cooked well at a high temperature. Well-cooked meat will prevent you from any infectious spread. In addition to that, any meat product cooked above 70 degrees Celsius will automatically cook the meat well. Therefore, it is 100% safe to eat chicken and other poultry products.

Before you cook meat and eggs, wash them properly. Make sure that it is properly cleaned. If you want to know more about the recent updates on the Bird flu, keep your eyes on the latest news. Help yourself by bridging the gap between false rumors and reality!


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