Virologist advised against contacting birds after announcement of avian flu quarantine in Moscow
In some areas of Moscow, veterinary quarantine was introduced, “in connection with the detection of a case of wild birds with highly pathogenic influenza on May 16, 2023,” the mayor said in a decree. How big is the threat to the health of city residents? How to behave now? We asked about this a specialist in especially dangerous infections, an immunologist, doctor of medical sciences Vladislav Zhemchugov.
– If you see a dead bird, in no case should you touch it or allow your pets to come near it, warns the expert first of all. – Neither should contact live birds: ducks, seagulls, etc., not even feed them by hand.
At the same time, there is no reason to panic today. For people, such measures – avoiding contact with birds – are more of a reassurance, notes Vladislav Zhemchugov.
– First of all, we don’t know which variant of bird flu was found in a seagull in Moscow. It is transmitted in principle to people. Second, even the bird flu strain, which was previously detected in Russia in several patients, is not transmitted from person to person. People can become infected only if they are exposed to a very high dose of the pathogen. For example, when working on a poultry farm. Or if they are patients with severely weakened immunity (with HIV infection, oncological diseases. – Ed.).
As for the order of the mayor of Moscow on quarantine, it applies exclusively to citizens and organizations that are engaged in breeding and keeping birds, in private homes, in factories, in zoos, etc., the expert explains.
ASK THE SUBJECT
– Vladislav Evgenievich, isn’t it dangerous to buy chickens on the market now?
– If it is an officially authorized point of sale, all products undergo strict veterinary control. And in any case, as I was saying, you need a very high viral load to spread the flu from a sick bird (the strains that are known today).