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Avian influenza(2007.2)

      Avian influenza outbreaks are occurring throughout the world. As of February 20th this year, outbreaks in Miyazaki Prefecture have occurred in Kiyotake-town, Hyuga-city (Togo-town), and Shintomi-town.  This month we will offer you up-to-date information about avian influenza. 

The safety of chicken and eggs as food

  The opinion of the "Food Safety Commission"* is

  "Chicken and eggs are safe to eat."   

 Infection by eating food that contains the avian influenza virus will not occur for the following reasons:

(1) The avian influenza is weak against acid, so it is rendered inactive by stomach-acid.
(2) Different viruses affect humans and birds. (Species barrier)
(3) The virus is sensitive to heat. Heat-treated cooking is safer, because normal cooking temperatures (70℃ in all parts of the food) will kill the virus.
  Avian influenza is not transmitted through cooked food. To date, no
  evidence indicates that anyone has become infected following the consumption
  of properly cooked poultry or poultry products, even when these foods
  were contaminated with the H5N1 virus.(In the rare examples of human
  infection abroad, the virus entered the body through respiratory organs.) 

Steps taken to ensure the safety of poultry and eggs sold in stores:

(1) Eggs are usually washed with sodium hypochlorite at egg selection and packaging facilities (GP centers)
(2) Poultry are usually defeathered at approximate 60℃ in meat processing facilities, and finally washed in cold water that contains sodium hypochlorite .
* The "Food Safety Commission" has been established in the Cabinet Office and its role is to assess food safety objectively.

If you find a dead wild bird  

 If you find a dead bird(including pets and wild birds), please keep in mind that there are many other possible causes of death apart from avian influenza, including infection by various germs and parasites, weak death, shock from electric wires, and eating poison. When you see a dead bird, you should not immediately think avian influenza.  However, if you encounter an unusual situation, such as several dead birds in one place, please inform the Agricultural Community Development Bureau.  Do not handle or attempt to bury the bird. 

Avian influenza Q&A

What is avian influenza?

  Avian influenza (the present threat come from Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza) is an animal disease that infects only birds. Only viruses of H5 and H7 subtypes are known to cause the highly pathogenic form of disease. Chickens, domestic ducks, turkeys, and quail show symptoms when they are infected.

What is the cause?

 This subject is under research, but it is thought it may have originated in wild birds, especially wild ducks because wild ducks have all HA and NA subtypes (H1-H16 and A1-A9).

Further information about avian influenza in English

 WHO(World Health Organization)website :

   As always, if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please contact the Miyazaki International Foundation at (Tel) 0985-32-8457, (Fax) 0985-32-8512, or (email)

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