Guangzhou suspends live poultry trade to block H7N9 spread

Updated 2017-02-15 16:27:56 Xinhua

Live poultry trade will cease for about two weeks in Guangzhou on concerns over H7N9 bird flu, local health and family planning commission said on Wednesday.

The ban, effective from Feb. 16 to 28, aims to prevent spread of the avian flu to humans. All poultry markets are ordered to be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.

H7N9 bird flu has been reported in several provinces across the country so far this year. Human cases have been reported in Guangzhou and nearby areas.

February and March are the key period to prevent the virus from spreading, experts said, adding more human infections are likely to be reported in Guangzhou.

According to the National Health and Family Planning Commission, 79 people died in January from the H7N9 virus nationwide.

Several provinces have measures to tackle the virus, with live poultry sales suspended in cities in Sichuan, Hunan and Zhejiang provinces.

H7N9 is a bird flu strain first reported to have infected humans in China in March 2013. Infections usually occur in winter and spring.

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