June 17, 2024

China Developing Five Year Policy to Control Bird Flu Outbreaks

Chinese officials are trying to control bird flu outbreaks by occasionally suspending live poultry trading in 110 of the country’s poultry markets. The first suspension will be January 31, 2014 and will last until April 30, 2014.

ChickenLast year, an outbreak of the H7N9 bird flu in China sickened 134 people and killed 43 in that country. In April 2013, all live poultry markets were shut down in Shanghai. That ban was lifted in June 2013.

Any violators of this ban will be fined thousands of dollars. Poultry from other cities and provinces must go through designated slaughterhouses and can’t be sold at the local markets.

Experts say that the H7N9 virus may recur. So far this autumn, there have been five cases of the bird flu in humans beings on the mainland. There have not been verified person-to-person transmissions, but since viruses evolve and mutate all the time, this may happen.

It is very difficult to identify birds that carry the H7N9 virus. Birds do not show clearly identifiable symptoms, which makes it nearly impossible to screen birds before they are sold. The virus does easily jump from birds to human beings. And the H7N9 virus is very deadly, with a mortality rate of about 18%.

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