Basic disinfectant could halt bird flu spread, study shows

May 6, 2013

Live poultry markets can act as hotbeds for H5N1 bird flu, but simple measures such as disinfecting trucks, equipment and market space could help stop the virus from spreading, researchers said Monday.

A team of French, British and Vietnamese researchers interviewed vendors at live bird markets in northern Vietnam and tracked how outbreaks could move as if via social network, even into remote areas.

Measures that require mass culling of birds or the shutdown of live bird markets are ineffective, argued the researchers in the US journal the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"Instead, disconnecting the market network should be achieved through the daily disinfection of live bird markets and of the vehicles leaving them," said the study.

"Implementing this intervention in only a few hubs would be effective in fragmenting the entire network."

Daily disinfection was shown to reduce the median epidemic size, or the fraction of contaminated markets, by 80 to 89 percent, said the study.

Disinfection every two days was less effective, reducing the media epidemic size by about 30 percent.

The benefits of such a system include low costs and easily collected data about traders' movements, said the study led by Guillaume Fournie of the University of London.

The has killed more than 370 people around the world, according to the , and scientists fear it could mutate into a form readily transmissible between humans.

China is scrambling to contain a new H7N9 strain that had not previously been transmitted from birds to humans but has killed 27 people this year.

The WHO has said so far there is no evidence of human-to- but has warned H7N9 is "one of the most lethal" influenza viruses ever seen, and urged travelers against contact with live poultry.

Explore further: WHO says new H7N9 flu passes more easily from bird to human

More information: Interventions for avian influenza A (H5N1) risk management in live bird market networks, www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1220815110

Related Stories

WHO says new H7N9 flu passes more easily from bird to human

April 24, 2013

A new strain of bird flu that emerged in China over the past month is one of the "most lethal" flu viruses so far, worrying health officials because it can jump more easily from birds to humans than the one that started killing ...

China begins poultry cull after bird flu found

April 4, 2013

Authorities in Shanghai began the mass slaughter of poultry at a market after the H7N9 bird flu virus, which has killed five people in China, was detected there, state media said Friday.

Vietnam reports first bird flu death in 14 months

April 9, 2013

A four-year-old child has become Vietnam's first victim of the H5N1 bird flu virus in more than a year, a health worker said on Tuesday, amid growing regional concerns about the virulent disease.

Hong Kong culls chickens to battle bird flu

December 21, 2011

Hong Kong culled 17,000 chickens Wednesday and suspended live poultry imports for 21 days after three birds tested positive for the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu virus.

Recommended for you

Zika in fetal brain tissue responds to a popular antibiotic

November 30, 2016

Working in the lab, UC San Francisco researchers have identified fetal brain tissue cells that are targeted by the Zika virus and determined that azithromycin, a common antibiotic regarded as safe for use during pregnancy, ...

Zika and glaucoma linked for first time in new study

November 30, 2016

A team of researchers in Brazil and at the Yale School of Public Health has published the first report demonstrating that the Zika virus can cause glaucoma in infants who were exposed to the virus during gestation.

Flu forecasts successful on neighborhood level

November 30, 2016

Scientists at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health developed a computer model to predict the onset, duration, and magnitude of influenza outbreaks for New York City boroughs and neighborhoods. They found ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.