DOH urged public to avoid eating raw, exotic foods amid coronavirus threat

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The Department of Health (DOH) has advised the public to refrain from eating “kilawin” or raw and exotic foods in the middle of the novel coronavirus threat in the country.

DOH urged public to avoid eating raw, exotic foods amid coronavirus threat
Adobong “bayawak” or Panay monitor lizard is one of the Philippines’ popular exotic dishes. (Image from Pinterest)

According to Health Sec. Francisco Duque III, the public should avoid eating dog meat, cats, rats, snakes, and “bayawak” (Panay monitor lizard).

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Duque also said that if it cannot be avoided like in the province, people who will eat them should ensure that the meat was cooked thoroughly because extreme heat kills coronavirus.

“Yung mga ahas, ‘yung mga bayawak, ‘yun pong mga lizards, ‘yan mga ‘yan kinakain. Ginagawang adobo. Masarap, nakatikim na ako pero lutong-luto,” said Duque.

(The snakes, “bayawaks,” the lizards, they could be eaten. They cook it as adobo. It’s delicious, I have tasted them, but they are cooked thoroughly.)

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DOH urged public to avoid eating raw, exotic foods amid coronavirus threat

He also advised the public to stop eating raw meat for now because one may get an illness from it.

Sec. Duque explained that many diseases originate in animals that are transmitted through the human or zoonotic transmission. Examples are 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).

The novel-coronavirus or 2019-nCoV that started in Wuhan, China, where exotic animals like rats, snakes, bats, and others were being sold and eaten.

Some scientists the new coronavirus strain came from bat soup after photos of Wuhan locals eating the local delicacy emerged online.

Gao Fu, the director-general of China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said that the new virus is almost 70% similar to the SARS virus, which originated from bats.

A study released in the Journal of Medical Virology identifies snakes as the possible “intermediate host” of the new coronavirus strain.

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