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Report dead birds, avoid contact with droppings & secretions: Delhi govt

New Delhi: The Delhi Health Department on Wednesday issued an advisory in view of bird flu cases in the city, asking people not to panic and follow a set of dos and don'ts, including not consuming half-cooked chicken, half-boiled or half-fried eggs.

Several ducks at Sanjay Lake and a large number of crows across various city parks have been found dead in the last one week. The advisory issued by the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) of Delhi on Wednesday stated, "H5N8 is highly pathogenic in birds but the pathogenicity in humans as well as the likelihood of human infection with avian influenza (AH5N8) virus is low."

The health department, while issuing the dos and don'ts, asked people to observe precaution and not panic.

"Avoid contact and prevent exposure from sick-looking sluggish chicken. Avoid direct contact with bird secretions and droppings," the advisory states, adding that bowls used for feeding birds, and their cages should be washed properly with soap or detergent.

All slaughter waste must be disposed of properly, the DGHS authorities said.

The advisory also cautioned people to not touch dead birds with naked hands. If any bird is found dead, the control room should be informed at phone number 23890318.

"Eat only completely cooked eggs and poultry products cooked at 70 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes. Do not consume half-cooked chicken or bird or half-boiled and half-fried eggs," the advisory said.

Do not keep raw poultry meat near cooked meat. Wash hands frequently at the time of handling raw poultry products.

And now, neighbouring Gurugram has put its officials on high alert in view of bird-flu spreading in Delhi.

With reports of at least 11 birds having died mysteriously since January 8, authorities are on their toes.

The Gurugram Animal Husbandry Department has sent samples of two birds a crow and a Heron to Jalandhar for a confirmation of whether the cause of death of these birds was due to avian influenza. The results are awaited.

Meanwhile, a team of 22 members has been formed to keep a track of the situation of bird flu in Gurugram. The District Administration has also issued a set of guidelines to poultry owners and have directed them to not let their domesticated birds get in contact with other birds to prevent a likelihood of infection.

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