Friday, April 12, 2013

#H7N9: Takes its Toll Economically in China


On Friday, Hong Kong's Food and Environmental Hygiene Department announced that poultry imported from companies in mainland China would be subjected to "fast tests" for the H7N9 and H5N1 strains of the virus.
According to a statement, "Officers will randomly select 30 birds from each consignment of around 1,000 (birds), to collect swabs and blood samples for the rapid test detecting the H5 and H7 antigen and antibodies."
Results will available within five hours, with cleared poultry then taken to a temporary wholesale market in the city for sale.
"When there are birds infected by H7 or H5, all the import of poultry will be suspended according to the World Organization for Animal Health's recommendations," said Allen Chan, senior veterinary officer with the city's health department.
The current outbreak has started to take its toll economically, after Yum Brands, the parent company of KFC in China, warned this week that sales at its restaurants across the country had suffered a sharp fall.
Xinhua also reported that the price of poultry had fallen by up to 50% in some eastern cities in the past week, hurting farmers economically. Shanghai has now completely banned the sale of life poultry.

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