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Sep 22, 2022

No Risk to Consuming Chicken

The Ministry of Health and Wellness, which sits on the taskforce that has been put together to address the issue, confirmed today that the virus cannot be transmitted to humans and that the chicken is safe for consumption. Principal Public Health Inspector John Bodden explains.


John Bodden

John Bodden, Principal Public Health Inspector, M.O.H.W.

“The infection that we are seeing in the poultry flock is one of past infection so there is no risk, at least currently, unless otherwise proven by testing that there is circulation of the virus within the flock itself. And that’s when it becomes a risk to people who actually deal with poultry. Secondly, the virus cannot be transmitted to humans currently. From what we are seeing the mortality rate is not high and obviously again, through diagnosis, we would know if the pathogenicity of that virus is really there and lends to spread. And the meat, as I know many people might have concerns about, there is no risk of eating the meat providing that it is cooked thoroughly. So from a public health perspective, it lingers solely in terms of the birds itself and the risk for spread will only be known until we could do the genetic sequencing to know what type of virus we are dealing with – if it is very pathogenic or not. And so, as we look at the outbreak unfolding, what is imperative to advise the public – especially those people who might be in touch or in contact with the birds – is that it is an influenza just like any other influenza whereby people would show signs of having basic flu-like symptoms. And we would advise people if they are concerned about that that we do have influenza virus that we could offer which serves as a level of protection for the poultry workers. So far none of the poultry workers have indicated that there is any infection transmitted to them and we continue to monitor the situation.”

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