A post is being shared on Facebook with the claim that in Bangalore, coronavirus was found in a chicken and the post asks people to avoid chicken consumption. Let’s try to analyze the authenticity of the claim made in the post.
Claim: Chicken infected with Coronavirus was found in Bangalore.
Fact: No evidence about coronavirus in chicken was found. The pictures being shared are old ones and are not related to the recent Coronavirus outbreak. WHO has also stated on its website that the meat products can be safely consumed if they are thoroughly cooked. Hence, the claim made in the post is FALSE.
When the photo in the post was reverse searched using Google, it was found that the same photo was on the internet even before the outbreak of coronavirus in December 2019. So, the posted photo of an infected chicken doesn’t have any relation to the coronavirus.
Also, when the same message was circulating on Facebook in Telugu that coronavirus was found in a chicken in Hyderabad, Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has released a press statement in which Dr. P. Venkateshwar Reddy, Chief Veterinary Officer, has clarified that no single case of any bird being positive to coronavirus was found in India. He also added that the photos of diseased birds that are being shared on social media are actually the photos of birds with ‘Ranikhet’ disease. The press release can be seen below.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has also stated on its website that meat products can be safely consumed if they are thoroughly cooked.
Amidst rumours that coronavirus was found in chicken, the poultry prices have declined. Also, China has culled chicken not because of coronavirus but because of the H5N1 (avian influenza) outbreak. In the ‘Business Standard article’, it can be read that the coronavirus is different from the H5N1.
To summarize, an old photo of a chicken infected with ‘Ranikhet’ disease is falsely shared as a chicken infected with the ‘coronavirus’ was found in Bangalore.
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