What is avian flu? If people ingest birds or eggs that contain avian flu, are they likely to contract the flu?
Probably not. Avian flu is a type of influenza virus that can infect both birds and humans. Most cases of human infection have been as a result of handling dead infected birds or being in contact with infected fluids. Thoroughly washing your hands and cutting surfaces after handling poultry will help prevent a number of potential diseases.
Avian . Avian flu refers to strains of influenza that infect various species of birds. Most strains of avian influenza are harmless to humans, but strains capable of infecting people have been seen, most notably the h5n1 strain. Nearly all cases of avian flu in humans have been related to close contact with birds or bird products (meat and eggs). Avian flu almost never spreads from one infected person to another; only a handful of such cases have been reported. Proper cooking of poultry and eggs will prevent transmission of avian influenza, as heat destroys the virus. Meat should be cooked thoroughly (no "pink" parts), and eggs should also be cooked completely (no raw eggs or "runny" yolks). Avoid using cooking utensils or surfaces that touched raw eggs or poultry, as this could spread the virus to other foods. Hands should be thoroughly washed with soap and water after handling raw poultry or eggs. To date, there have been no reports of avian influenza from properly cooked poultry or eggs.