China killed thousands of birds at Shanghai markets, and shut down all wholesale poultry markets, as the death toll from the H7N9 virus rose to six on April 5th.
Over 20,000 birds were killed at a live bird-trading zone in Shanghai Friday,wrote CNN, including chickens, ducks, geese and pigeons. Every live poultry market in the city will soon be shut.
Vendors complained about killing the birds, wrote the Wall Street Journal, although the Shanghai Agricultural Commission announced farmers would be given 50 percent of the market price of the birds in exchange for carrying out the cull.
“In the past usually you would see chickens dying before any infections occurred in humans, but this time we’ve seen that many species of poultry actually have no apparent problems, so that makes it difficult because you lose this natural warning sign,” said infectious disease expert David Hui to CBC.
The bird flu virus death toll continues to rise, with the 5th death announced on Thursday, and the 6th on Friday. The ages of the victims (some who have recovered) range from 4 to 83.
A total of 14 have been sickened along China’s Eastern seaboard, writes CBC, and it’s suspected the disease is transmitted by live fowl. There’s as yet no evidence that bird flu can spread from person to person.
The US consulate in China reassured citizens both in China and abroad, notes the WSJ, and has not called for any travel restrictions.
“At this point the risk for international disease spread is considered low….”The latest advisory from the World Health Organization as of April 4 is that no travel or trade restrictions with China should be applied based on the current information.”