Title of Topic:
Avian Bird Flu and Our Food
Claim of Topic:
People cannot become infected with the avian bird flu by eating infected eggs or poultry.
Discussion of Topic: Bird flu is an infection caused by avian (bird) influenza (flu) viruses. These flu viruses occur naturally among birds and usually they do not get sick from them. The current bird flu virus that is causing concern worldwide is a highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) strain called H5N1 HPAI (also referred to as the Asian bird flu virus) that causes severe bird flu.
While there has been concern regarding humans becoming infected with the virus from an infected bird, it is still a relatively rare occurrence. Most human infections have occurred after people had extensive exposure to infected chickens, ducks, turkeys or their environment. Nearly all of the more than 200 human cases of the Asian bird flu that have been diagnosed recently in Asia have had direct contact with infected chickens, ducks, turkeys or their environments suggesting that close contact has been the primary route of transmission. There is currently no evidence that a human has been infected with the Asian bird flu or other bird flu virus by eating properly cooked eggs or other cooked poultry products derived from infected birds.