New Serology Testing for Bird Flu Virus in Chinese Chicken

HONG KONG – More accurate poultry import serology tests for avian influenza virus strain H7N9 will commence tomorrow, Friday 24 January.
calendar icon 23 January 2014
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Ko Wing-man, food and health chief for Hong Kong said 30 samples will be tested.

However, according to reports in The Standard, no commitment has been made to halting imports should poultry test positive.

Positive samples will result in sample sizes to be increased to 120 and DNA tests will be undertaken.

The virus has been damaging, killing 211 people on the mainland and three people in Hong Kong.

Ko voiced concerns about the 40 cases that have already been reported this year, while reassuring the serological tests would enhance import safety.

"The serum test can detect antibodies to the virus in poultry, giving people an idea of how widely it is spreading among the bird population, and can trace a longer history of infection,” said Mr Ko.

The DNA test will be carried out for accuracy as the serology test cannot determine whether the birds have recovered and developed immunity or could still spread the virus.

Further Reading

You can visit the Avian Flu page by clicking here.

Michael Priestley

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