Thursday, June 12, 2008

Hong Kong : All Chickens Must Die

From Bloomberg :
Hong Kong ordered the slaughter of all chickens in the city's markets and retail outlets after the H5N1 bird flu virus was detected in three more markets.

The H5N1 avian influenza virus has been found in four markets since the first outbreak last week, the government said at a press briefing today. Hong Kong banned poultry imports from mainland China and suspended exports from local farms for as long as 21 days on June 7.

Public health officials' concerns about a worldwide outbreak of lethal influenza among humans have risen as the H5N1 virus spreads among birds from Asia to Europe, Africa and the Middle East. The deadly strain may spark a global outbreak if it mutates to become as infectious to humans as seasonal flu.

The government has stepped up efforts to halt the spread of the virus after ordering the culling of 2,700 chickens from nine stalls at the Po On Road Market on June 7. The virus was detected in bird feces, and no animal or human deaths have been linked to the disease, the government said.

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