Australian expert rejects bird flu fears

Nov 03, 2005

A bird medicine specialist says the risk of human bird flu infection is small in Australia and people may still safely eat chicken and keep pet birds.

Dr. Bob Doneley, a professor at the University of Queensland's School of Veterinary Science, said the chances of contracting bird flu from a pet bird are infinitesimally small.

"You're more likely to have a light plane hit by a meteor and fall on your head than somebody getting bird flu off their cockatiel," Queensland's only registered bird specialist said.

Contaminated water is the most common source of infection from bird droppings, he said, but the virus can be spread physically on boots or other clothing.

Doneley said the avian influenza virus is stable in water for up to 200 days and in droppings for four to five days, but can be killed by heat, sunlight and most detergents.

He says his office has been swamped with inquiries from panicked bird owners and neighbors about pet parrots, finches and budgies.

"We're getting three or four phone calls a day from people wanting to know if they should sell their house because their neighbors have got birds," Doneley said.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Physicists create tool to foresee language destruction impact and thus prevent it

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Bird flu vaccine protects people and pets

Oct 20, 2008

A single vaccine could be used to protect chickens, cats and humans against deadly flu pandemics, according to an article published in the November issue of the Journal of General Virology. The vaccine protects birds and ma ...

Pets must be protected from bird flu

Mar 13, 2006

Purdue University veterinarians say pet owners can combat animal diseases such as bird flu with cleanliness and educated observation.

Recommended for you

Affirmative action elicits bias in pro-equality Caucasians

8 hours ago

New research from Simon Fraser University's Beedie School of Business indicates that bias towards the effects of affirmative action exists in not only people opposed to it, but also in those who strongly endorse equality.

Narcissistic CEOs and financial performance

Jul 24, 2014

Narcissism, considered by some as the "dark side of the executive personality," may actually be a good thing when it comes to certain financial measures, with companies led by narcissistic CEOs outperforming those helmed ...

Election surprises tend to erode trust in government

Jul 24, 2014

When asked who is going to win an election, people tend to predict their own candidate will come out on top. When that doesn't happen, according to a new study from the University of Georgia, these "surprised losers" often ...

User comments : 0