Research confirms preventative measures for flu and SARS

Research into bird flu, swine flu and SARS has confirmed key preventative measures, which could stop infection from spreading to other birds, animals and humans.

The research shows that the risk of spreading increases during transportation, slaughter preparation and consumption, according to researchers at University of East Anglia (UEA).

The steps identified to prevent further spreading would be to isolate and quarantine flocks, the use of masks, gloves and sterile utensils when slaughtering and preparing and a need to promote hygiene standards via social media.

Published in the journal PLOS ONE, the research focused on the avian flu virus strain H5N1 which has killed 375 humans and millions of poultry.

UEA researchers used the Hazard Analysis of Critical Control Points (HACCP) system to identify the causes of spreading, which is commonly used in the food production industry.

Led by Dr Diana Bell and Dr Kelly Edmunds from UEA’s school of Biological Sciences, Bell said: “Diseases which originate in birds and mammals such as SARS and bird flu represent 60% of outbreaks. As well as representing a significant global health threat, they also create a burden to public health systems and the global economy.”

The researchers looked closely at the poultry trade system in Vietnam, which was part of a three-year study.

Dr Edmunds added: “We also showed that adopting the Hazard Analysis of Critical Control Points (HACCP) system, which is already used in the food production industry, could work very effectively as a precursor to more time-consuming quantitative data collection and biomedical testing.”


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