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Human H7N9 Case Confirmed in HK’s 'Backyard'

15 November 2013
USDA Foreign Agricultural Service

HONG KONG - Live chicken supply to Hong Kong is normal despite a confirmed human avian influenza A (H7N9) case in Guangdong Province.

The Hong Kong government (HKG) was notified by the Chinese authority of a confirmed human case avian influenza A (H7N9) on 5 November 2013 affecting a 3-year-old boy in Dongguan, Guangdong Province.

Reportedly, the boy had recently visited a wet market selling live poultry but he did not have any direct physical contact with birds there.

The market was located within a radius of 13Km from a chicken farm registered for chicken supply to Hong Kong.

The HKG has not banned the chicken supply from this registered farm on the grounds that there have been no confirmed bird flu cases for birds.

It is not exaggerating to regard Dongguan as Hong Kong’s backyard as it is just 87 km away. It takes about one and half hour by bus and 30 minutes by train from Hong Kong to Dongguan.

Hong Kong people have very close communication with this city both in terms of work and pleasure. Therefore, this latest human bird flu case in China was widely reported in the media.

The HKG stressed that there is no confirmed human cases of avian influenza A (H7N9) in Hong Kong and assured the public that they are closely monitoring the situation on the human side.

This is the second human case of H7N9 in the Guangdong province, which is adjacent to Hong Kong. An earlier case occurred in August this year.

To date, a total of 137 human cases of avian influenza A (H7N9) have been laboratory confirmed in the Mainland, including Zhejiang (48 cases), Shanghai (33 cases), Jiangsu (28 cases), Jiangxi (six cases), Fujian (five cases), Anhui (four cases), Henan (four cases), Shandong (two cases), Hunan (two cases), Beijing (two cases), Guangdong (two cases) and Hebei (one case).

Reportedly, the boy infected with avian influenza A (H7N9) had recently visited a wet market selling live poultry but he did not have any direct physical contact with birds there.

The market was located within a radius of 13Km from a chicken farm registered for chicken supply to Hong Kong.

The HKG has not banned the chicken supply from this registered farm on the grounds that there have not been any confirmed bird flu cases for birds.

Currently, there are 53 registered farms in China which are eligible to export live chickens to Hong Kong.

They are supplying approximately 7,000 head each day to Hong Kong.

Local supply of live chickens amounts to 11,000 head, representing about 61 per cent of total supply.

The HKG resorted to administrative measures to restrict the amount of live chickens circulated in the retail markets so as to reduce the risk of avian influenza outbreak in the territory.

Further Reading

You can visit the Avian Flu page by clicking here.

ThePoultrySite News Desk





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