Bird flu: Handle Xmas chickens with caution, Ogun vet boss warns

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The Director of Veterinary Services in Ogun State, Dr. Dotun Sorunke, has warned residents of the state to be cautious in handling chickens during the Christmas and New Year celebrations to avoid contracting the deadly Avian influenza disease, popularly
known as bird flu.
Sorunke, who said this during an exclusive chat with our correspondent, said that the
warning became imperative so that people would not be infected with the bird flu while preparing chickens for consumptionduring the yuletide season.
He urged them to observe hygiene precautions during and after the celebrations.
The director of veterinary services said that there was a high possibility of people contracting the infectious disease because of the massive movement of chickens during the yuletide period.
He warned the public to always take the precautionary measures of boiling and frying
the chickens very well before consumption, adding that this would effectively kill any virus
or bacteria in the birds.
Sorunke, therefore, admonished residents of the state to take hygienic precautions by
washing their hands after cutting the chickens with soap and water as well as the knives and utensils.
According to him, “This Avian influenza, though deadly, is contracted in the process of
processing this chickens for consumption. You know the way and manner we eat our chickens.
After boiling and frying, we put it in hot stew. Any virus or bacteria that is in that chicken
might have died before the conduring the processing. There is a high risk of contracting that infection while processing.
The veterinary expert added that as part of the measures to check the possible outbreak of bird flu, the state government had made funds available for the purchase of disinfectants and put in place arrangement for the movement of some health officials to monitor the situation at chicken markets across the state.
Also speaking, the Avian Influenza Desk Officer in the state, Dr. Tade Adeniyi , urged the
public to, “take all the necessary precautions, do whatever you need to do in moderation. Overeating could land someone in the hospital.”