1st Bird Flu Outbreak in Africa (Nigeria)

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Feb 8th, 2006, 10:23 AM
  #1
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1st Bird Flu Outbreak in Africa (Nigeria)

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11232657/
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Feb 8th, 2006, 03:32 PM
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Thanks for the input dennis, scary isn't it????
I am definately not having eggs on my next trip to africa,Sonali
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Feb 8th, 2006, 03:57 PM
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I'd be a bit more worried about being exposed to chickens in towns or on public transport than about eating eggs. Boiled eggs are a staple of safari lunches in East Africa, according to people on this board...

Cheers,
Julian
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Feb 8th, 2006, 04:18 PM
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Julian, I hate boiled eggs and I love omlettes. My breakfast menu of a lovely cheese omlette may change. Julian u being a physician what care should safari goer's take not to come into contact with H5N1, I never use the public transport.., Sonali.
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Feb 8th, 2006, 04:43 PM
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This is very bad news. However, a bit of perspective from the point of view of us tourists.

There is no evidence bird flu has ever been contracted by anyone from eating either eggs or chicken. If you do not have direct contact with a sick bird ot its faeces there is no evidence of risk. That people have died in Asia, and will die in Africa appears to be because they keep chickens in their backyard and have them and their faeces in and around the house.

However, when there is a bird flu outbreak as a precautionary measure people are warned to cook eggs and chicken well. The virus dies at only 70C. However, the fact is you should not be eating uncooked eggs anyway if you are concerned about health, while cooking chicken properly is no great strain (it tastes bad raw anyway!) and no different from having to cook pork properly, to avoid tapeworms and other associated nastiness. In any case, the biggest risk from food would probably be juices from the chicken dropping onto other foods which will be eaten raw in the fridge of a poorly kept kitchen.

If you wanted to be ultra-cautious, the first thing you should do is not stop eating eggs, but make sure you do not get into contact with wild, migratory birds or their droppings - especially if you see an unusual number of bird carcasses in the area (I guess there are not many safari camps or lodges which keep chickens) and you might certainly think twice before feeding birds in an area where you are sitting and eating - I have heard some people do this at picnic spots in some of the parks. One thing you would want to keep in mind in Africa in lowland areas is that the virus can survive for up to 30 days in faeces if kept at above 32C - in highland areas where the temperature drops at night it will die off after no more than a few days.

However, if the bird flu virus mutates to the point it can be transferred easily from human to human, all bets are off.

Also, don't forget water is surely still potentially much more dangerous for humans in Africa.

This is from the same site as Dennis' link.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9686290/

A link to the bee's knees
http://www.who.int/csr/disease/avian...x.html#poultry

A final, personal thought on the current level of risk.

With the very widespread nature of the virus and the great amount of bird faeces around in Asia (if you have never been, there is A LOT) isn't it surprising that there have been so few cases of infection? If the risk of bird to human transmission with the current virus were great, would there not be many more cases (only 165 confirmed cases of human infection in over 8 years)?
... but take that last bit with a pinch of salt!

And NO I am not a doctor, but I do live in a country that has suffered from bird flu for a number of years.
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Feb 8th, 2006, 04:51 PM
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Sonali.. didn't see your second post. You can have your cheese omelette, even if you are in an infected are - just not a runny one!
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Feb 8th, 2006, 05:03 PM
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Kimburu~thanks for all the additional info. Oprah also had a show last week about avian flu and what could happen if it does mutate into a more communicable strain. Scary!
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Feb 9th, 2006, 06:18 AM
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Kimburu, thanks for sharing your knowledge. I really appreciate it,Sonali.
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