Bird flu has come, but eggs are safe.
But will the arrival of bird flu spoil this year's fun?
According to physicians and bird experts, it is very unlikely anyone in Slovakia could contract the virus from contact with eggs because no cases of bird flu have been reported among its breeding birds.
"Easter is not in jeopardy," said Rastislav Rybanič from the Society for the Protection of Birds (SOVS).
An unhealthy bird would probably even be easy to detect because it would not lay eggs, one of the physicians told The Slovak Spectator, confirming the pearl of wisdom grandmothers often tell their families. However, when one takes the virus' incubation period into account, Rybanič warned, an outbreak cannot be completely ruled out because symptoms, such as a decrease in the number of laid eggs, would only show after infection.
Regardless, one has nothing to fear when following the tradition of blowing out an egg's contents before decorating its shell.
"I will certainly be blowing out some eggs this Easter," Silvia Žemlová from the SOVS said.
And despite the infection's arrival having made front-page news, Easter egg sales have remained strong.
The Traditional Easter Markets on Bratislava's Main Square has experienced its usual volume of shoppers since opening on March 31. The same goes for the Centres of Folk Arts, which offer Easter eggs from the best local decorators of traditional folk techniques.
The tradition for Easter Monday, which falls on April 17 this year, is for girls to present decorated eggs to boys who have whipped them with willow twigs and doused them with water. Girls, therefore, still have to prepare, as no excuses about bird flu will help.
By Zuzana Habšudová
10. Apr 2006 at 0:00