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Wednesday, March 10, 2004
Manual on handling dead birds issued
Don't panic -- just look it up in the booklet.
With the flood of media reports focusing on the recent bird flu outbreak spreading misery among chicken farmers and consumer anxiety, the government issued a manual Tuesday for dealing with dead birds when found.
The three-page document provides information on the disease and instructions on how to handle birds that have died from unknown causes.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda unveiled the guidelines at a regular news conference, saying the government will ask prefectures to use it to offer correct information on bird flu and to ease public concerns.
The document states that:
There have been no reported cases of human infection from eating chicken meat or eggs.
While there have been no reported cases of infection from eating raw eggs, heating them to 70 degrees at the center is advisable.
Thirty-two cases of bird-to-human infection have been confirmed worldwide, but no cases of human-to-human infection have been confirmed.
If someone comes upon birds that have died for unknown reasons, do not handle the carcasses with bare hands or bury them. The deaths should be reported to a veterinarian, public animal health office or a public health center as soon as possible.
When disposing of a dead wild bird, place the carcass in a plastic bag and tightly seal it but do not touch the animal.
Thoroughly and promptly washing hands and gargling are recommended should someone come into contact with bird droppings. Pet birds should be kept in a clean environment, away from wild birds.