Avian influenza typically spreads when live birds that are contaminated are bought and then sold, and by contact of birds with bird droppings on dirty equipment, cages, feed, vehicles or shoes and clothing. Therefore it is very important to practice good hygiene and bio-security.
Hot soapy water and detergents are the first things that should be on hand to disinfect against the avian flu. The avian influenza virus is actually easier to destroy than many other viruses because it is very sensitive to the detergents that wreck the fat containing layer on the outside of the virus. This layer is necessary to enter the cells of animals and consequently obliterates the infectivity.
The virus is easily harbored in water; therefore simple washing may actually aid the virus in entering into locations where it can be contracted by other birds. For this reason, if washing is done to remove infection, it will have to be conducted with detergents, hot soapy water or particular disinfectants.
Since the avian virus enjoys damp, dirty conditions, bird dropping is one of the biggest dangers. It is vital that items that may have come into contact with bird droppings are properly disinfected. Some of these items may include cages, shoes, and clothes.
If an acute type of (HPAI) has been found in the trading environment or country, anyone working with poultry should greatly step up their level of hygienic practices to thwart the chance of bringing in the virus. This is known as bio-exclusion and works to prevent the virus from leaving, which is known as bio-containment if the virus has already entered a flock, or area.
Both individuals who raise poultry and communities can take sensible measures to prevent the virus from entering an area and eliminating the risk of the virus spreading if it is already in the community.
Excellent hygienic measures are actually the very first line of defense against outbreaks and or spreading of the avian flu.
Anyone working with poultry should at all times be wearing clean clothes, scrubbing their shoes with disinfectant, and washing their hands very well before entering the area where the birds are housed. Cages should be cleaned on a daily basis and both the food and water should be changed each day. Any equipment, including cages and tools that is in close contact with the birds should be cleaned and disinfected. However, it is important to remove all traces of droppings before you disinfect. Another important tip to remember is that all dead birds should be disposed of properly.
If you have been around either other birds or bird owners, you should both clean and disinfect your car and truck tires, poultry cages, and equipment before you go home. If you have taken your birds to somewhere like a fair or an exhibition, you should keep them apart from any birds that did not go with you for about two weeks afterwards. Any newly purchased birds should be kept away from your flock as well for a minimum of 30 days to lessen any chances of illness spreading.
It is vital that you never share birds, lawn and garden equipment, tools, or poultry goods with anyone, even other bird owners. However, if you do, make sure to disinfect each item properly before you bring them onto your property.
EPA registers pesticide products, as well as disinfectants. At this time, there are at least ninety avian flu products available for hard, non-porous surfaces. These products are characteristically used by workers in the poultry industry for disinfecting. The label on the product will specify if the product is efficient in disinfecting against "avian influenza A" and will also identify the sites where the product should be applied eliminate or inactivate the avian flu virus.
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