Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Chicken scare

The next time you push a shopping cart down a supermarket aisle, do remember to WASH your hands before you touch your face or pick up something to put into your mouth.

A study conducted in South Korea revealed that shopping cart handles are the most bacteria-infested items among some commonly used objects, carrying some 1,100 colony forming units of bacteria per 10 sq cm (1.55 sq inches)!

Whether it is the common flu bug or the dreaded mutated bird flu bug that you definitely don't want in your system, it would be safer to just treat the cart handles the way you do toilet door knobs - scrub your hands with soap and water after contact each time.

This is especially important considering the worldwide fear over the possibility of the current bird flu scare turning into something more sinister. Whether the infected birds are dead or alive, we have been advised to be extra careful after coming into contact with them.

Malaysians now have to deal with this threat after it was reported in the papers the appearance of H5N1 virus in Kuala Lumpur. Apparently, our authorities suspected fighting cocks smuggled in from neighbouring countries probably transmitted the bird flu virus that struck down more than 80 chickens over the past 10 days in Kampung Pasir Wardieburn off Jalan Genting-Klang in Setapak.

As a measure of precaution, the Health Ministry has decided that chickens within a radius of 1.5km from the village will be culled while those within a 10km radius will be placed under surveillance. This is on top of the 495 birds (chickens, ducks and others) and 270 bird eggs that were culled, destroyed and buried yesterday in an empty plot of land near the village. We have been pretty lucky that so far, no human cases have been reported in the country.

But how far will our luck carry us?

Incidentally, is anyone out there worried about how our current unregulated practise of mushrooming bird-hotels in towns and commercial areas for the lucrative birdnest market is going to have an impact on the health of our people living and working nearby?

It is not just the chickens and ducks that our authorities should be worried about.


1. What happened at Kampung Pasir Wardieburn. (The NST) (The Star)
2. Some assurances and comforting words on safety of cooked chicken meat and eggs. (The NST)
3. Why Paul Ewald thinks a global pandemic will not happen. (The NST)
4. Indonesia records new death from bird flu (The Star)



Blogger H J Angus said...

How about money?
That too must contain loads of germs.

23/2/06 10:59  
Blogger Anak Merdeka said...

Obviously! Talk about money ... they not only contain loads of germs but other "unhalal" stuff too if you wish to go into the topic.

I won't do it here for reasons most obvious but you know what I'm talking about, right?

23/2/06 14:51  
Blogger H J Angus said...

I am prepared to collect all the dirty money that no one likes! :)

Maybe some of that money used to pay for an invite to tea at the White House?

23/2/06 15:20  
Blogger Anak Merdeka said...

Hey - that expose on the DrM-Bush scandal came about the time when our ex-PM started to go on the offensive against the govt on the AP issue again.

Do you smell a rat, HJ?

23/2/06 17:06  
Blogger |dAia| said...

woaa....same goes for shopping baskets huh???

23/2/06 18:26  
Blogger H J Angus said...

There are so many rats around.
Rats bigger than pussy cats.

Think we need to call in some international pest control company!

24/2/06 10:43  

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