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February 13, 2015

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Home » Metro » Health and Science

Chicken breeder, 53, confirmed as 4th H7N9 bird flu case this winter

A MAN from Jinshan District has been diagnosed as having the H7N9 bird flu strain, health authorities said yesterday.

The 53-year-old, surnamed Qi, is a chicken breeder from the village of Qinwang and sells live poultry at the Shanghai Agriculture Product Wholesale Market in the Pudong New Area, the Shanghai Health and Family Planning Commission said.

He is being treated at Jinshan Hospital — an affiliate of Fudan University hospital — and is in a critical condition.

Twelve people with whom Qi has been in close contact — five family members and seven co-workers — have been put under close observation, the commission said.

Qi is the fourth person in the city this winter to have been confirmed as having H7N9 bird flu. Last month, a 75-year-old woman and a 69-year-old man were reported to have the potentially deadly virus, while a 38-year-old man was the city’s first reported case of the season in December.

No details have been released about their health status.

Nine people contracted the virus in Shanghai last year, seven of whom died.

In a bid to prevent outbreaks of the flu virus, the trade in live poultry will be banned across the city from Thursday through April 30.

A similar ban was enforced last year.

Gu Zhenghua, vice director of the Shanghai Food and Drug Administration, told a press conference yesterday that live poultry pose a major bird flu risk.

The Spring Festival is a peak time for new infections, and with so many people on the move it is vital that a sales ban is imposed, he said.

Wu Xingbao, deputy director of the Shanghai Commission of Commerce, told the conference that local authorities are promoting the consumption of frozen poultry in a bid to reduce the risk of disease.

The ratio of fresh to frozen poultry sales is currently about 50:50, he said, adding that the frozen option is growing in popularity.

Gu added: “Frozen poultry will gradually replace live poultry ... and a total ban on live poultry sales is the ultimate goal.”

According to the National Health and Family Planning Commission, in the first 11 months of last year, 306 people were confirmed as having H7N9, of whom 130 died.


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