Avian Flu Emergency Preparedness
Avian Flu: How to protect yourselfThere is no effective vaccine that has been developed for the avian flu. Yearly flu shots that prevent against seasonal flu have no effect against avian flu. So the best thing to do is be as educated as possible and prevent the spread of germs and diseases.
How can we protect ourselves?
- Proper handling of fresh poultry
- Careful cleaning of work surfaces
- Careful hand washing by workers who handle raw poultry
- H5N1 is heat-sensitive - proper cooking kills the virus
- Observe careful hygiene when ill or when around others who are ill ible and prevent the spread of germs or diseases.
To prevent avian flu, stay away from infected poultry and their feces in risk areas. If traveling in risk areas, take precautions to minimize your risk:
- Avoid all direct contact with poultry, regardless of their apparent health.
- Avoid places where live poultry are raised or kept.
- Avoid poultry feces.
- Wash your hands frequently.
- Cook all eggs and poultry thoroughly.
- Monitor your health carefully, including the 10 days after you leave a risk area.
You cannot get avian influenza from properly handled and cooked poultry and eggs. However, to stay safe, the advice is the same for protecting against any infection from poultry:
- Wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling raw poultry and eggs.
- Clean cutting boards and other utensils with soap and hot water to keep raw poultry from contaminating other foods.
- Use a food thermometer to make sure you cook poultry to a temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit Consumers may wish to cook poultry to a higher temperature for personal preference.
- Cook eggs until whites and yolks are firm.
It is also helpful to know the signs and symptoms of human infection with avian influenza viruses. They may include fever, cough, sore throat, conjunctivitis (eye infections), and muscle aches. Infection with avian influenza viruses can also lead to pneumonia, acute respiratory distress, and other severe and life-threatening complications.
( From: http://www.osha.gov/dts/shib/shib121304.html )