Bird flu has us all in a frenzy lately, and with the 14 deaths and 63 infected in Beijing and Shanghai combined, it’s really no wonder. But with the outbreak comes another cost, one that’s been hitting the poultry industry hard since the first case broke out two weeks ago. The Shanghaiist reported that the poultry industry has seen RMB 10 billion in total losses thanks to a refusal to eat what some people think is diseased meat. To combat this, the director of propaganda in Houshayu, a poultry town near the Shunyi villa district has been putting up posters to encourage diners to reconsider their boycott.
The fact of the matter is: people have been chicken of chicken. And so far, it doesn’t seem like they have to be, according to Dr. Richard Saint Cyr of Beijing United Family Hospital. Here’s what you can do instead to avoid H7N9.
The US Center for Disease Control advises:
Do not touch birds, pigs, or other animals.
- Do not touch animals whether they are alive or dead.
- Avoid live bird or poultry markets.
- Avoid other markets or farms with animals (wet markets)
So far, there has still been no cases of human to human contact, but the following is still important:
Practice hygiene and cleanliness.
- Wash your hands often.
- If soap and water aren’t available, clean your hands with hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
- Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. If you need to touch your face, make sure your hands are clean.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Try to avoid close contact, such as kissing, hugging or sharing eating utensils or cups, with people who are sick.
Do we really have to give up our KFC? Dr. Richard doesn’t think so. However, it’s important to eat food from places you trust. The CDC advice goes on to say:
Eat food that is fully cooked.
- Eat meat and poultry that is fully cooked (not pink) and served hot.
- Eat hard-cooked eggs (not runny).
- Don’t eat or drink dishes that include blood from any animal.
- Don’t eat food from street vendors.
Read Dr. Richard’s full post here, and stay tuned for further updates on the bird flu virus on our blog.
This post originally appeared on thebeijinger.
Photo: Seoulful Adventures on Flickr