Monday, August 07, 2006

Government urges public to eat eggs and chicken

BANGKOK, Aug 7 (TNA) - As Thailand fights a new outbreak of the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu virus, a deputy prime minister on Monday urged the public not to be put off by the disease and told them to continue consuming eggs and chicken-- as long as they are well cooked.

Dr. Suchai Chareonratanakul, a deputy prime minister, chaired a seminar on bird flu and egg consumption that people should not panic in response to the latest outbreak of the virus because its re-emergence is "only natural."He said the public should continue eating properly-cooked eggs and chicken because they offered no risk of contracting the virus.''Eggs are the cheapest source of protein and widely available. If you are not facing with any personal health risk, egg is good for you,'' Dr. Suchai said.

He said the government has quarantined many persons upcountry this time, but only because it was part of the strict response to contain the outbreak.''It shows that the government gives importance to disease surveillance,'' he said.He expressed confidence that authorities would be able to contain the outbreak of bird flu virus, confirmed in several provinces in the North and the Northeast, because provincial officials and volunteers would implement aggressive plans to prevent the spread of the disease.''

Also, we have laboratories across the country to test for the virus and provide results within 24 hours,'' he said.Meanwhile, egg and poultry traders and exporters said the latest bird flu outbreak has not affected their business.Despite the outbreak of bird flu among Thai poultry, Vichai Techawattananant said he has hopes for a rise 28 per cent increase in egg exports.

The association expected to export some 140 million eggs this year, a big rise from 110 million eggs last year, said Vichai who is an honorary chairman of the association for egg and chicken producers, traders and exporters.''Consumers overseas are still confident about eating eggs from Thailand,'' he said.

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