Updated: 01/28/2014 00:57 | By Agence France-Presse

Hong Kong to cull 20,000 chickens after H7N9 found

Hong Kong will cull approximately 20,000 chickens after discovering the H7N9 avian influenza virus in a batch of poultry imported from mainland China, authorities said Monday.


Hong Kong to cull 20,000 chickens after H7N9 found

A man smokes a cigarettes next to cages of live chickens at a poultry market in Hong Kong, on May 24, 2013 - by Philippe Lopez

The positive reading came just days after the southern Chinese city introduced widespread testing of imported live poultry following growing public concern over the safety of imports, particularly from the mainland. 

Two people have died from the human form of the virus in Hong Kong since the first infection was publicly reported in December.

On Friday the city introduced a serological test for H7 avian influenza in live poultry and soon discovered a batch that tested positive for the virus. 

"A government department has confirmed that the sample chicken from the chicken imported from the mainland tested positive for H7N9 avian influenza virus," Hong Kong health minister Ko Wing-man told reporters late Monday.

"All the poultry in the wholesale market will be destroyed tomorrow morning... the total number of chickens concerned amounts to 20,000," Ko said, declaring the market to be an "infected place".

Hong Kong is particularly alert to the spread of viruses after an outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) swept through the city in 2003, killing 299 people and infecting around 1,800.

The H7N9 outbreak began in China in February 2013 and reignited fears that a virus could mutate to become easily transmissible, potentially triggering a pandemic.

Latest Photo Galleries on xinmsn

NEWS VIDEOS

MORE NEWS VIDEOS

facebook recommendations

LIVE NEWS RADIO STREAMING

  • 938 Live

    938LIVE is Singapore's only English news and talk station which transmits round the clock with an engaging and enticing spread of programmes on current affairs, health, business and lifestyle as well as news every half hour until midnight.

  • Capital 958


    95.8FM城市频道的前身是"第三广播网"。上个世纪30年代末,新加坡就有中文广播,一路走来经过不少政治,社会局势的改变,中文广播在本地一直扮演举足轻重的角色。