Bird Flu Hits Poultry Markets in China

East China’s Zhejiang province has ordered all markets to halt live poultry trade on Saturday (February 11) over bird flu concerns.



According to the provincial Health and Family Planning Commission, Zhejiang reported 35 infections of the H7N9 strain of bird flu last January.

There were also reports that Guangzhou, capital of the southern Chinese province of Guangdong, urged residents to avoid contact with live poultry after tests in the past week.

Guangzhou, a major port and transportation hub, announced last month that it would suspend the trade of live and slaughtered poultry for three-day periods through March to prevent the spread of avian flu to humans.

These developments reinforced concerns about the spread of the virus as the death toll in China this winter hit 30 last week.

Chinese disease control experts have warned the public to stay alert for H7N9 avian flu.

China had 106 cases of human infections in December alone, according to the National Health and Family Planning Commission. There were five confirmed bird flu outbreaks among poultry in the country this winter, which led to the culling of more than 175,000 birds.

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