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Online Discussion: Tracking new emerging diseases and the next pandemic.

China's Suzhou city halt's live poultry trade H7N9

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    Posted: December 25 2016 at 3:13am

China's Suzhou city to halt live poultry trade on bird flu concerns

A Chinese city said on Sunday it will suspend trade of live poultry in the interests of public health after neighbouring provinces reported cases of human bird flu infections.

Suzhou, the second-biggest city in the eastern province of Jiangsu, will halt trading of live poultry as of midnight, the official People's Daily reported on its website.

Two people have died of the H7N9 strain of bird flu in China this winter, the first fatalities among at least seven infections.

In the past week, Hong Kong and Macau have also reported their first human bird flu infections for this season.

H7N9 had not been detected in either humans or animals in China until March 2013.

The city of Shanghai, about 100 km (62 miles) southeast of Suzhou, reported last week that a man had been diagnosed with the H7N9 strain after travelling from Jiangsu.

The two deaths were in Anhui province, west of both Shanghai and Suzhou. Anhui has reported five human infections since Dec. 8.

Authorities in Anhui, which has a population of almost 60 million, have shut some livestock markets and stepped up sterilisation to prevent the virus spreading. "A few" chickens had been culled.

In Xiamen, a city in Fujian province also in the east, authorities halted poultry sales on Thursday in one district, after a 44-year-old man was diagnosed with H7N9, state news agency Xinhua reported.

The H7N9 strain does not seem to transmit easily from person to person, and sustained human-to-human infection has not been reported, according to the World Health Organization.

The danger with any such virus is that it mutates and acquires genetic changes that might increase its pandemic potential.

The last major bird flu outbreak in mainland China - from late 2013 to early 2014 - killed 36 people and led to more than $6 billion in losses for the agricultural sector.

(The story corrects typographical error in paragraph 3)

(Reporting by Ryan Woo; Editing by Robert Birsel)

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Chinese city suspends poultry trade amid bird flu fears

Wuxi becomes second city in Jiangsu province to implement restrictions to safeguard public health

22 Dec 2016

Wuxi will suspend its poultry trade from Thursday amid fears about bird flu, becoming the second city in Jiangsu province to halt live poultry markets.

The city will close its live poultry wholesale markets, restrict vehicles carrying live poultry from entering markets and temporarily ban the entry of outside poultry, the city’s information office said on Wednesday on its official microblog.

Suzhou, next to Wuxi, said on Sunday it would suspend the trade of live poultry in the interests of public health after neighbouring provinces reported cases of human bird flu infections.

At least seven people in mainland China have been infected this winter with the H7N9 bird flu strain and two have died. Hong Kong reported one death on Christmas Day.

Officials prepare to cull chickens at a poultry farm in Nankan, Japan, on Tuesday. Photo: Kyodo

Wuxi and Suzhou lie on the shores of the 2,250-sq-km Taihu lake, a favourite stopover for migratory birds, and are just west of China’s financial capital of Shanghai where one case of human bird flu infection was reported last week.Wuxi said it would strengthen efforts in monitoring the H7N9 strain and focus on disease control and prevention in places like poultry farms and migratory bird habitats.

“Winter and spring are high seasons for the H7N9 strain. Wuxi city issued the notice to protect public health and maintain public health safety,” the microblog said.

Jiangsu’s provincial commission of health and family planning said there were no new cases of infection.


“Local governments have already taken relevant measures, as you have noticed. There are no new cases,” an official at the authority said.

Meanwhile, Xinjiang region has culled more than 55,000 chickens and other poultry following an outbreak of a highly virulent bird flu that has infected 16,000 birds, the Ministry of Agriculture said on Tuesday.


The H5N6 strain of the virus was confirmed in Yining, a city of 500,000 people, and has killed 10,716 birds, the ministry said.It is the fourth flu outbreak among poultry since October and brings the total cull since then to more than 170,000 birds. Flocks are particularly vulnerable to avian flu during the winter months and sporadic outbreaks are relatively commonNumber of bird flu cases in China rises to sevenThe culling comes amid fears about the spread of avian flu across Asia, with South Korea battling its worst-ever outbreak and Japan and India also killing flocks.

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