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Prevention

health-and-fitness Updated: Jan 18, 2008 23:27 IST

Hindustan Times
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* You should avoid any close contact with domesticated birds. Fowl is the most frequent source of the virus spread. Prevent bird flu contact by avoiding rural areas, small farms or open-air markets.

* Wash your hands frequently. As any contact is usually made by the use of hands, this simple rule applies to all kinds of infections. On the road, alcohol-based sanitizers are easy to use and very effective in destroying bacteria and viruses.

* Watch your children and make sure they keep clean and don't come into contact with potentially infectious objects.

* Avoid raw eggs and food, which requires raw eggs to produce. Bird flu prevention is mainly about avoiding direct poultry products, and eggshells are often contaminated with bird droppings, one of the main sources of transmission of the virus. Stay clear of mayonnaise, ice cream and other similar products.

* Get a flu shot. Bird flu vaccines are still under research, but a simple flu shot will greatly reduce the risk of being simultaneously infected with bird flu and a human flu virus.

* Wash everything very well. Surfaces you work on, cutting boards and utensils that come into contact with raw poultry should be thoroughly washed in hot, soapy water. Wash your hands before and after handling and cooking the meat and dry them with a disposable towel.

* Cook thoroughly. Bird flu prevention involves cooking poultry until the internal temperature reaches 180 degrees Fahrenheit (roughly 80 degrees Celsius). Heat destroys the virus, so any undercooked eggs or poultry products should be avoided.