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How to guard against H7N9 avian
Winter and spring are the peak seasons for respiratory illnesses such as H7N9 bird flu. China has reported more than 250 human infections so far this year, and live poultry trading was halted in many provinces.

Updated:1487755573Source:Lifeofguangzhou.com

Winter and spring are the peak seasons for respiratory illnesses such as H7N9 bird flu. China has reported more than 250 human infections so far this year, and live poultry trading was halted in many provinces.

So what should we know about avian flu and how to protect ourselves from it?

Nearly 192 people have been infected nationwide this January, 164 more infections than over the same period in 2016, according to the National Health and Family Planning Commission. Live poultry trading has been suspended in places such as Guangdong, Sichuan, Hunan and Zhejiang provinces. The ban in Guangzhou is in effect from February 16 to 28.

The 2013 outbreak was the first in China of the H7N9 bird flu strain. The virus this year appears to be less pathogenic among poultry, which show few symptoms, but more deadly among humans in direct contact with infected birds at live markets and on farms. But there is still no evidence of constant inter-human transmission.

Is poultry edible during the outbreak of the bird flu?

The birds are edible if they’re well-cooked. That's because the flu virus is vulnerable to high temperature and can be deactivated under 65 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes or under 100 degrees Celsius for 2 minutes, said Zhang Zhoubin, deputy director of the Guangzhou Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

 

Experts offer the following proposals concerning self-protection from H7N9 bird flu.

1. Avoid any exposure to live poultry, especially dead birds.
2. Buy chilled fresh poultry through official inspection in supermarkets.
3. Separate raw and cooked foods and make sure poultry and eggs are well-cooked.
4. Go to see a doctor immediately if you are inflicted with symptoms such as fever, headache, stuffed noses and coughing. A mask is a necessity when you go out.
5. Keep fit with regular exercising, enough sleep and paying great attention to personal hygiene. Adequate ventilation is beneficial to abate the spread of the virus.

(By Zoe Xu, Louis Berney)

Editor:Joanna You
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