Avian Flu Scare Triggers Poultry Culling

June 9, 2016 by Britney Booth


HongKong1Agence France-Presse has reported that Hong Kong culled 4,500 birds on Tuesday, June 8 after the deadly H7N9 bird flu virus was discovered in a chicken at a local market.

Public health officials wearing white hazmat suits and masks dumped the chickens into green plastic bins at a wholesale poultry market in central Hong Kong. The bins were then pumped with carbon dioxide to kill the birds.

Hong Kong is particularly determined to the stop spread of viruses after an outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome hit the city in 2003, killing 299 people and infecting around 1,800. Bird flu scares in the past two years have seen mass culls of up 20,000 birds in Hong Kong.

Trade of live poultry has also been suspended after authorities said Saturday the avian flu virus was found in a fecal sample collected from a chicken at a market in the Tuen Mun, a neighborhood in the west of Hong Kong.

H7N9 is a particular worry for authorities as it does not kill infected poultry or cause them to develop symptoms, which allows it to spread undetected until contact is made with humans.

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