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Sep 14, 2022

Health official: Dead Poultry Don’t Spread Bird Flu

While avian influenza can spread rapidly within the bird and poultry populations, bird flu viruses do not normally infect humans. But sporadic human infections of avian influenza, also known as bird flu virus, have occurred. Since the recent detection of the presence of avian influenza at one farm in the Orange Walk District, personnel from the Belize Agricultural Health Organization (BAHA) have introduced guidelines to avoid a spread of the disease. But how serious is avian influenza to humans? There are several strains of bird flu, including the H-Five-N-One and the H-Seven-N-Nine strains that have infected humans. When it does infect humans, it can be deadly. Today, the Director of Public Health and Wellness, Doctor Melissa Diaz-Musa told us that we’re still in the process of identifying what strain of the disease is present at the farm. In the meantime, disposing of the chickens will help to prevent further spread, she assured.

 

Melissa Diaz-Musa

Dr. Melissa Diaz-Musa, Director, Public Health & Wellness

“First of all, we need to confirm what strain it is exactly and to ensure that that strain is transmissible to humans because you know that we do have zoonotic influenza that is not transmitted to humans. That’s the first step. With many with animal health, I mean this mainly – at this point, we’ve just become aware of it over the last day or two and with animal health we do know with Avian Influenza in particular, the dead birds don’t transmit disease. We need to be cautious of the live birds and the persons handling the birds. That’s how the transmission occurs usually. So that’s something that every bird that’s being slaughtered is being tested as well. So there are procedures that BAHA has put in place and that our environmental health staff would be more familiar with.”

 


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