DOH warns vs eating raw meat, exotic animals amid coronavirus outbreak
MANILA, Philippines — Skip raw meat and exotic food for now as the Department of Health (DOH) warned Monday against their consumption in the midst of a new coronavirus outbreak.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III urged the public to stop eating animals like dogs, cats, rats, snakes, and lizards, among others.
But if eating exotic animals cannot be avoided, the DOH chief said people must make sure they are thoroughly cooked especially that the coronavirus is sensitive to heat.
“Yung mga ahas, ‘yung mga bayawak, ‘yun pong mga lizards, ‘yan mga ‘yan kinakain. Ginagawang adobo. Masarap, nakatikim na ako pero lutong-luto,” Duque said in a press briefing in Malacañang.
(Snakes, lizards are being eaten, with some being made into adobo. It’s good, I’ve tried it but it was thoroughly cooked.)
“Talagang kailangang iluto mo kasi sensitive naman itong mga coronaviruses sa init. So pagka I think 53 degrees Centigrade, they will be neutralized.”
(You need to cook it well because coronaviruses are sensitive to heat. I think it will be neutralized at 53 degrees Centigrade.)
Duque stressed eating raw dishes like “kilawin” (a dish prepared by cooking fresh meat in vinegar) should also be stopped in the meantime.
“Rule number 1, never eat raw meat. Maraming pwedeng sakit pong pwedeng ibigay iyan sa atin,” Duque said. “Yang mga kilawin, tigil na muna natin ‘yan. Kasi maraming mikrobyo din ‘yan.”
(Rule number 1, never eat raw meat. There are a lot of illnesses that could stem from that. Eating kilawin should be stopped for now. That has a lot of microbes, too.)
Many human illnesses started from animals, Duque explained, citing the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), African swine fever (ASF), and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV).
“Marami pong mga sakit ang tao na nagsimula po sa hayop, zoonotic transmission kung tawagin. ‘Yan pong SARS, nanggaling po sa civet cats. Ang HIV/AIDS nanggaling sa mga chimpanzees. Ang ASF galing po sa baboy. Ang MERS-CoV, originally from the bats tapos pumunta sa camel,” Duque explained.
(There are a lot of illnesses that came from animals, which is what we call zoonotic transmission. SARS came from civet cats. HIV/AIDS came from chimpanzees, ASF came from pigs. MERS CoV originally came from bats then to camels.)
The novel coronavirus or 2019-nCoV originated in China’s Wuhan City where an array of wild animals like bats, snakes, and wolf pups, among others, are reportedly sold and eaten.
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