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Shanghai starts culling fowl

By Yu Ran in Shanghai  (China Daily)

09:35, April 06, 2013

Technicians wearing protection suits begin to cull fowl early on Friday at a poultry wholesale market in the Songjiang district of Shanghai where the H7N9 bird flu virus was detected in pigeon samples. [Photo by Liu Xin / For China Daily]

No sign seen of human-to-human transmission of H7N9 bird flu

All live poultry markets in Shanghai will be closed from Saturday after H7N9 bird flu virus was found in pigeon samples from a farm product market in the Songjiang district, the municipal government announced on Friday.

Early on Friday morning, 20,536 birds were slaughtered at the Huhuai wholesale market, where the infected pigeons were found the day before.

To date, the city has reported six cases of H7N9 bird flu, and four people have died from the virus. The other two, an adult and a 4-year-old boy, remain in a hospital.

So far, 16 H7N9 cases have been confirmed in China. Aside from the Shanghai cases, six are in Jiangsu, three in Zhejiang and one in Anhui provinces. Two people died in Zhejiang.

The latest fatality was a 64-year-old farmer who died in Huzhou, Zhejiang, provincial officials said.

Shanghai's two surviving patients "are getting better", Wu Fan, chief of the city's Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said at a news conference on Friday. "Not all H7N9 cases lead to severe illness."

Wu suggested that people with a fever and runny nose who suspect they have the virus seek immediate treatment at hospitals. The most recent victim waited for one week after being infected to see a doctor, he added.

Of the 119 people who have had close contact with H7N9 patients in Shanghai, only one developed a cough, runny nose and sore throat, but that person tested negative for H7N9, Xu Jianguang, director of the Health and Family Planning Commission of Shanghai, said at the Shanghai news conference on Friday.

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