China city closes poultry markets to stop bird flu

The major city of Guangzhou in southern China closed its live poultry markets on Saturday for two weeks to halt the spread of the H7N9 strain of bird flu.

The closure lasts through Feb. 28 "to strengthen work to control the spread of the H7N9 flu," the city government said in a one-sentence announcement on its microblog account.

Guangzhou is the capital of Guangdong province, one of the hardest-hit areas in China's latest . Some 65 cases and 13 deaths have been reported by the provincial health bureau. The latest was a 78-year-old man who died Feb. 14 in Guangzhou.

The virus is hard to catch and most cases have been linked to contact with poultry.

Nationwide, there have been at least 32 deaths, according to the official Xinhua News Agency. The health ministry said 127 cases were reported nationwide in January.

One market in Guangzhou, Jiangcun, is one of China's busiest, with more than 60,000 birds per day sold there last year, according to Xinhua.

The market closures add to disease-control measures that have included the mass slaughter of chickens and other poultry on the Chinese mainland and in Hong Kong.

Shanghai in China's east imposed a three-month moratorium on live poultry sales in January. Zhejiang province south of Shanghai has suspended poultry trading. Also in January, Hong Kong suspended sales of live poultry and imports from the mainland.

The World Health Organization says there is no evidence of sustained human-to-human transmission but has recommended close monitoring due to the unpredictable behavior of flu viruses.

In January, authorities confirmed a second human case of H10N8, a separate bird flu strain known to affect humans. In the first case, a 73-year-old woman died in December.

Chinese suppliers are losing more than 1 billion yuan ($150 million) per month, Xinhua said, citing Chen Yingfeng, president of the Guangdong Poultry Industry Association.

During China's last outbreak in April 2012, producers lost 70 billion yuan ($11 billion), Cheng was quoted as saying.

Related Stories

New case of H7N9 bird flu confirmed in China

date Aug 11, 2013

A Chinese poultry worker was confirmed as having contracted the deadly H7N9 bird flu virus, health officials said, the first case in the southern Guangdong province.

Recommended for you

Fighting back against superbugs

date 11 minutes ago

Antibiotics—and antibiotic resistance—are in the news once again, with announcements by McDonald's and Costco that they will eliminate antibiotics that are important to human medicine from use in the ...

Harnessing the power of microbes as therapeutics

date 1 hour ago

A new report recently released by the American Academy of Microbiology discusses how specific microbes can be modified to enhance their therapeutic potential for treating human diseases such as cancer and antibiotic resistant ...

New genetic link found for alcohol-related liver cirrhosis

date 1 hour ago

In most people, any liver damage that might occur from drinking alcohol is reversible. However, in 25 to 30 percent of alcoholics what begins as accumulation of fat in the liver progresses to inflammation, fibrosis and ultimately ...

Could camel antibodies protect humans from MERS?

date 1 hour ago

Antibodies from dromedary camels protected uninfected mice from Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), and helped infected mice expunge the disease, according to a study published online March 18th in the ...

Sierra Leone ends anti-Ebola lockdown after three days

date 5 hours ago

Sierra Leoneans were once again allowed to leave their homes Sunday evening after the government announced the end of a three-day nationwide lockdown aimed at preventing a resurgence of the deadly Ebola virus.

User 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.