Shanghai has begun culling chickens because of the new H7N9 Bird Flu. They closed a live poultry-trading zone in an agricultural products market and began slaughtering the chickens.
This came after inspectors detected H7N9 in a pigeon from the market. Health officials are now investigating if the virus spread to poultry from pigeons.
Five people have now died because of the new strain of bird flu. Four of the fatalities were from Shanghai proper, and the other was from Zhejiang Province just south of the metropolis.
While there is no evidence of human-to-human transfer, Chinese officials say they’re treating a person who was in close contact with another H7N9 patient.
So far, there’s been no word of a crackdown on a common practice in Shanghai, raising chickens in the backyard. It’s illegal, but people do it anyway.
The World Health Organization is keeping a close eye on H7N9 Bird Flu, because it has not infected people anywhere else in the world until the recent cases in China. Doctors are also concerned because it causes no symptoms among birds and pigs, but now is potentially deadly to humans.