In the past few days lakhs of birds have been found dead across the country. And at least four states have confirmed bird flu cases. Thus, NT KURIOCITY asks a few Goans if they are worried and how we can stay safe
2021 is already off to a bad start with hundreds of birds found dead in Rome due to the fireworks display in the city, to now hearing the news about a bird flu outbreak in the country. With COVID-19 still looming upon us and now another outbreak in the country the future really seems bleak. Due to this bird flu we may lose some endangered species of birds that are quite unique to this country and that’s really sad. The only right thing for us to do now to keep safe is to avoid the consumption of poultry and avoid coming in contact with birds until this flu is contained. 2021 already started off throwing shade to 2020. I wonder what else is in store for us this year.
Reuben Mascarenhas, Colva
Nowadays, bird flu is an infectious type of influenza that spreads among birds. But in rare cases it can affect humans too. There are some viruses that originate in birds, predominately water fowl, ducks, geese, etc, and often mix with other viruses to create new strains of a virus or novel viruses. The virus can invade humans directly or through an intermediary host, mainly another bird or animal such as a pig, bat, horse, etc. However, it can spread among humans through close contact with an infected bird (dead or alive), touching droppings and killing or preparing infected poultry for cooking. Well-cooked poultry or eggs are safe to eat even in areas with an outbreak of bird flu. We can keep ourselves safe from this infection by washing our hands with warm water and soap before and after handling food. Avoid contact with live birds and poultry. Do not go near or touch bird droppings or sick or dead birds.
Shalvi Singh, Carmel College of Arts, Commerce and Science, Nuvem
I am not worried as I am a pure vegetarian and do not have pets at home. It also doesn’t directly spread from person-to-person. Now if you’re a non-vegetarian, probably you should cook food with extra heat as heat kills the virus. If you have a pet at home take good care of them and maybe a check-up might help. If you are a poultry farmer then you should be most careful. Given that the coronavirus has not gone completely, sanitising hands and washing clothes regularly is still the norm, practice these norms and you should be pretty safe.
Abhijit Girish Bhat, Ponda
2020 was a horrible year for most. A pandemic, raging fires and numerous hurricanes, tumultuous elections, floods, around 3,40,000 people lost their lives, many were jobless, and only a few retained their billions with more additions. So it’s been a good year for some. But we all expected that the dark clouds would go and much brighter and glittering 2021 would rise with new hopes but that turned out to be false. With sad news of birds dying in Rome due to our thunderous New Year celebration, to forest fires in Uttarakhand and now the bird flu which killed several hundreds of birds and is taking the toll of many more innocents. God save us. This worries me – if this is how the year started then where are we heading? We need serious retrospection of our deeds. Nature is telling us to be vigilant and sane. Many Goans consume a lot of meat and the bird flu can put everyone in trouble of new disease. Let’s rethink our food habits, and let’s not forget the COVID-19 pandemic started from consumption of bats. Some things we can do to prevent bird flu are washing our hands often with warm water and soap, especially before and after handling food, in particular raw poultry. Use different utensils for cooked and raw meat. Make sure meat is cooked until steaming hot. Avoid contact with live birds and poultry.
Kishan Mangueshkar, Shiroda
2020 was a challenging year for us but 2021 is turning out to be a challenging year for the migratory birds. Thousands of birds were found dead under mysterious circumstances. It’s high time we take steps to preserve Mother Earth. After all it’s all interconnected. Global warming is the cause of every problem we are facing, and it is a cause of human greed and the lifestyle we are heading towards.
Riddhi Gohil, Carmel College of Arts, Science and Commerce, Nuvem