China kills all poultry as bird flu spreading
SHANGHAI - Agence France-Presse
AFP PhotoChina announced April 5 a sixth death from a new bird flu strain, while authorities in Shanghai halted the sale of live fowl and slaughtered all poultry at a market where the virus was detected in pigeons being sold for meat.
The mass bird killing is the first so far as the Chinese government responds to the H7N9 strain of bird flu, which has sickened 16 people, many critically, along the eastern seaboard in its first known infections of people. Health officials believe people are contracting the virus through direct contact with infected fowl and say there has been no evidence so far that the virus is spreading easily between people.
However, scientists are watching closely to see if the flu poses a substantial risk to public health or could potentially spark a global pandemic. Other strains of bird flu, such as H5N1, have been circulating for many years and can be transmitted from bird to bird, and bird to human, but not generally from human to human.
So far, this lack of human-to-human transmission also appears to be a feature of the H7N9 strain.