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No H7N9 Epidemic Among Poultry, Says Expert

10 April 2013

CHINA - A preliminary analysis shows that H7N9 bird flu has not triggered an epidemic among poultry, according to a Tuesday report in the "People's Daily" that cited a veterinary expert.

Of the 738 samples collected from three live poultry markets in Shanghai, where the first known human deaths of the disease were reported, only 20 samples contained H7N9 virus, including ten from chickens, three from pigeons and seven from environmental samples, the report said.

The government's chief veterinarian Yu Kangzhen was quoted as saying that it was the first time the Ministry of Agriculture had detected the virus in domestic animals.

The relationship between the virus detected in poultry and the virus that has infected humans has yet to be determined, Dr Kangzhen said.

The possibility of infection among animals in other regions has not been ruled out and the ministry has called for epidemic monitoring for animals across the nation, the report said.

It quoted Dr Kangzhen as saying that it's still safe to eat poultry meat purchased from regular channels, such as supermarkets, as long as they are thoroughly cooked.

"The virus could be killed under high temperature," he said.

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