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Shanghai to continue the ban on live poultry market

By Dong Zhen (Shanghai Daily)

16:16, May 10, 2013

None human H7N9 cases have been detected in Shanghai for the past 20 consecutive days, prompting the city to end its citywide emergency response scheme for epidemic diseases, Shanghai government announced today.

Despite the cancellation, local hospitals and health authorities would continue their collaborations on routine basis to monitor and prevent spreading of bird flu, the government said.

Since the city's first two human bird flu cases emerged on March 31, the city has reported a total of 33 patient cases. Thirteen were dead, 15 were cured while five others remained in hospital, officials said.

Officials also announced today the city would continue to suspend all live poultry business citywide. Live poultry trade is popular on Chinese market as Chinese traditionally prefer eating poultry butchered alive because the meat would taste more delicious and it's also believed to be more nutritious than frozen meat.

The government said it would canvass public opinions fully before making a final decision to close live poultry markets for good or allow them to reopen.

Medical experts said three incubation periods of the H7N9 bird flu had passed as no cases emerged locally during the past 20 days. All the 458 people who had had close contacts with the confirmed local cases have now been released from medical observation without showing suspicious signs.

The frequency of patient reports elsewhere in the country is also on a descending trend.

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