Live poultry sales could be banned in the city if wholesalers do not conform to strict controls to curb the spread of bird flu, Secretary for Food and Health Dr Ko Wing-man said yesterday [1 January 2015]. “The city relies on the strict measures in the live poultry supply chain to prevent the public from the threat of bird flu,” Ko said. “If the industry workers do not put aside [their self-interest] … I believe in the long term it is up to the public to decide whether to end the live poultry supply.” He said the government had hired consultants to study whether live poultry supplies should be stopped…Full Article: South China Morning Post Jan 2015

Hong Kong authorities usually cull birds by suffocating them in black bags filled with carbon dioxide. “The department will conduct inspections as well as collect additional samples from all the 29 registered live chicken farms in Hong Kong to ensure that they are not affected by H7 influenza,” Ko said…Full Article: The Times of India Dec 2014

Key Points

  • In early January 2014, Huizhou (Guangdong Province) confirmed it culled 13,000 chickens on a farm after realizing it exported H7N9 infected chicken to Hong Kong.
  • In December 2014, 19,000 birds were culled in Hong Kong’s Cheung Sha Wan wholesale market. Additionally, a three week ban on bird imports was instituted. Hong Kong confirmed a human case of H7N9 in a woman who had recently visited Shenzhen.

ChinaAg Comments

  • Cases of H7N9 slowly declined from its peak it early 2014. The last reported cases were in June 2014. In 2013, the peak number of cases were reported in April 2013, but quickly declined with only a few cases reported in July 2013 before reappearing in October 2013. Overall, the 2014 outbreak was much larger than the 2013 outbreak in terms of confirmed cases.
  • In January 2014, China confirmed 127 cases of H7N9 for that month alone (versus 144 for all of 2013). During January, a total of six human cases of H7N9 have been confirmed in Guangdong Province.
  • By the end of December 2013, mainland China has confirmed 144 H7N9 cases.
  • On 10 December 2013, China reported a single case of H7N9 in Zhejiang Province. By January 2014, the Zhejiang provincial health agency had recorded 53 H7N9 human infections. Live poultry markets were shut down in central areas of major cities in Zhejiang Province.

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