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Cook chicken at high temperatures to kill virus, says expert

Written by: Staff
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Bidar, Karnataka, Mar 4 (UNI) Bird pathology expert Vivek Patil today said the chances of people of India getting affected by bird flu virus due to consumption of chicken and egg was less as food was generally cooked at high temperatures in the country and this helped in killing the virus.

Speaking at a seminar on bird flu, organised by the Association of Veterinarians and the Karnataka Veterinary Animal Husbandry and Fisheries Sciences University here, he advised people to cook chicken and egg at a mumimum of 70 degree centrigrade for a few minutes to make it safe for consumption.

''The bird flu virus cannot survive in high tempertures. However, it can stay alive for very long if it is frozen. When autopsy specimen of animals that died due to the virus in 1918 were re-examined recently, it was found to still have active pathogenic virus strains,'' he said.

He explained that it was difficult to invent preventive drugs or vaccine as the virus assumed new forms when it passed from one species to another. ''However a hygienic lifestyle and clean food habits easily help us keep off such infections,'' he said.

Veterinary University Vice Chancellor R N Srinvas Gowda said the losses suffered by the poultry industry could be fully recovered in around three months. Prices of chicken and eggs would stabilise in a month, he added.

Stating that the Maharashtra government succeeded in restricting bird flu at Navapur taluk, he said tests had confirmed that not a single person had been infected by the virus till now.

He said the poultry industry in the country was incurring heavy loss to the tune of Rs 60 crore-Rs 80 crore a day and added that media could play a vital role in undoing the damage.

Dr Gowda said the Centre had released Rs eight crore to the Indian Virology Institute for developing a vaccine for bird flu and exuded confidence that scientists would succeed in their efforts within a year.

UNI BSR RG RKN2113

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