China steps up fight against bird flu, total cases rises to 18

Beijing, April 7: China stepped up its efforts to contain the spread of the deadly H7N9 bird flu virus, by banning the sale of poultry in three cities and culling more than 20,000 birds on Saturday.

Sale of poultry was suspended
in Nanjing and Hangzhou along with China's biggest city, Shanghai as a total of 18 cases were reported resulting in six deaths, as the deadly H7N9 bird flu virus spreads rapidly in the eastern part of the country.

The ban came after the World Health Organisation (WHO) announced that while it was determined so far that the virus would not spread from human to human, it could spread from the dust particles from infected poultry markets.

As of Saturday morning, China has confirmed 18 H7N9 cases- eight in Shanghai, six in Jiangsu, three in Zhejiang and one in Anhui, in the first known human infections of the lesser-known strain.

Hong Kong too reported one case. Six people, four in Shanghai and two in Zhejiang province have died due to the virus, which has no cure yet.

Shanghai was the first to close its live poultry markets and banned all live poultry from other parts of the country from entering the city.

Two fresh cases of H7N9 were reported by the local government on Saturday.

More than 20,000 birds have been culled at another Shanghai market where traces of the virus were found this week, state-run news agency Xinhua reported.

The disease control and prevention centre of Hangzhou detected H7N9 bird flu virus from the quails in the market on Friday.

The virus sample has been sent to national disease control and prevention center for a recheck.

Meanwhile, sales of chickens and eggs have crashed all over China following the scare.

Posted by Unknown on 03:47. Filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0

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