THE PORTUGUESE Food Safety Agency made clear last week that consumers do not run the risk of catching Bird Flu from eating poultry products.
According to a press release from the agency, no scientific evidence presently exists to suggest that this virus is transmitted via eating cooked poultry. Despite this, the government approved recently the purchase of an antiviral vaccine in the eventuality that an epidemic of Bird Flu breaks out in Portugal.
Health Minister, Correia de Campos, said that it was simply a preventative measure and that there was no risk to public health to consume poultry products.
The health service is expecting to spend 22.5 million euros over the next two years on purchasing the vaccine. It added that there would be sufficient medicine to protect 25 per cent of the Portuguese population, which would be most at risk – the elderly, pregnant women, the sick and children. Correia de Campos added that it was technically impossible to protect 100 per cent of the population, but that the measures being taken would prove sufficient to interrupt the spread of the epidemic should it arrive.