Picture of the Day: Chicken first of egg?

Posted on July 2, 2006
Filed Under >Bilal Zuberi, Food, Health & Disease, Photo of the Day
7 Comments
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By Bilal Zuberi

Since Best Pakistani Food Outside of Pakistan, here is something about food in Pakistan.

This newspaper advertisement about Bird Flu fears was published by the Pakistan Ministry of Food, Agriculture & Livestock and comes to us via Jamash on Flickr.com.

The English-Urdu rhyming in the title is cute and attractive. Interestingly, and perhaps intentionally, the layout resembles a recipe more than a health brochure. A quick glance does tell us though that the basic message is clear – keep the chicken and the eggs coming! And don’t let the poultry farms go out of business.

There are many strains of bird/avian flu and it is the H5N1 variety that is causing panic around the world due to its possibly lethal effects on humans. In most cases, the infection has spread to humans via close contact with infected birds and even though a few cases of human to human transmission have been found, the strain has not yet developed the ability to easily pass from humans to humans. If that happens, the results could be catastrophic.

The virus is not food-borne, and that is why it is still considered safe to consume poultry products. However, given the close proximity of live birds to the consumers in Pakistan, the meat-sellers (slaughtering/preparation etc) should probably exercise extra caution. WHO has recommended that to be absolutely safe all meat should be cooked to a temperature of at least 70C. Eggs (esp. if boiled) should also be thoroughly cooked. Bird flu symptoms are similar to other types of flu: fever, malaise, sore throats and coughs, headaches, sore-eyes (conjectivitis), muscle pain and viral pneumonia – but the mortality rate is nearly 50%. There is no vaccine but countries are stockpiling Tamiflu, an anti-viral drug, which is expected to ease symptoms and help reduce further spread.

All in all, this is certainly a disease to keep a close eye on. Bird flu virus has already been found in chicken in Pakistan. As an agricultural/farming economy, Pakistan is at high risk and possibly less prepared to fight a pandemic than other countries. I am happy to see that the Government of Pakistan is proactively launching PR campaigns to keep the public informed. I hope the Ministry of Health is also preparing in parallel. There is news that SAARC may also be planning a strategy to fight Bird-flu regionally. That is good news!

Now I must get back to eating chicken and eggs for my mental and physical growth. My government tells me so!

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7 responses to “Picture of the Day: Chicken first of egg?”

  1. Adil Najam says:

    Khalid, I am actually in Geneva the next couple of days. But that is not the reason for the Guest Posts. The idea (see About ATP above) has always been to work towards making this a team blog and also to feature some of the wonderful Pakistani bloggers out there. Bilal, iFaqeer and Shirazi have very kindly taken the lead in stepping into this role…. I have my eyes on a few others who I woudl really love to invite to do the same…. you know who you are ;-) Self-nominations are most welcome.

  2. Khalid-s says:

    Two guest posts in a day…. Mr. Najam, why disappear ;-)
    But good guest posts, both

  3. MSK says:

    Information is good. And I think the addd is also well-designed. But the science on this is still shaky, so we do not want people to be too complacent either…. this ad. may be understating the issues

  4. MSK says:

    By the way. Like how you change the picture in masthead every few days. Kool

  5. iFaqeer says:

    No doubt inspired by the old Pakistani saying

    Sunday koe Hawkes Bay pay nahaa theen hain murghiyaaN…

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