With all of the information floating around regarding the bird flu epidemic it can be hard to discern what you should really be concerned about and what is nothing more than a rumor. Here are five myths regarding the bird flu that aren’t as factual as they first may seem:
- Any ingestion of infected poultry can be deadly: If the poultry is cooked thoroughly enough, even if it was infected prior to cooking, then it can be safe to eat. The virus cannot live through the extreme heat required for cooking, and will die off. Just make sure to cook your poultry thoroughly before consuming it to err on the side of safety.
- The bird flu only affects people in Asia: Birds are migratory creatures, and even if the infected bird originated in Asia, it could still fly to any other country and infect others. It’s unwise to think you don’t need to take any precautions, such as getting vaccinated, simply because you don’t live in Asia. While the disease appears to have originated from there, it has also spread to other countries.
- Antibiotics will help kill off the bird flu virus: Taking antibiotics will do nothing in terms of helping to kill off the virus if you’re infected. Antibiotics aren’t designed to kill off virus strains, only different types of bacteria. The only way to rid your body of a virus is through a vaccination specific to the type of virus contracted.
- There is a reliable bird flu vaccine on the market: While there have been some successful attempts at warding off the virus through vaccines in some people, others who have taken the same vaccination have shown no signs of being able to fight it. As of right now, there is no vaccination that has been developed that is capable of keeping everybody safe from the virus.
- People who don’t eat birds are safe from the virus: Just because you don’t eat chicken or other birds doesn’t mean you are automatically safeguarded from the virus. The virus is not contracted through ingesting infected poultry; it’s contracted through coming in contact with infected feces. There have also been some cases where people have contracted the virus through fruits and vegetables as well, which debunks the myth that you have to avoid eating any and all birds to be safe from the virus.
The bird flu is something that we all need to be aware of and prepared for, no matter where you live or what type of diet you follow. By eating fully cooked poultry, avoiding any bird feces, and being aware and knowledgeable about the virus you can avoid believing any false myths and adequately prepare yourself should an epidemic strike.
Jack Meyer is a regular contributor for http://www.nannybackgroundcheck.com/. As a detective he wants to spread the knowledge of terrible things that can happen when people don’t fully verify the credentials of a caregiver or any employee. He also writes for various law enforcement blogs and sites.