China's Foshan city says
bird flu 'grim', extends market cleaning periods
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[January 13, 2017]
BEIJING (Reuters) - Foshan, a city
in China's Guangdong province, said it will extend the monthly cleaning
periods for live poultry markets for the next three months to help
control the spread of virulent bird flu, with authorities warning the
situation is "grim".
The move for the first three months of the year came as authorities
in the city of more than 8 million people warned in a statement that
all neighboring cities have reported human infections of the H7N9
strain of the virus.
State media Xinhua said it had registered its second case.
Foshan usually shuts markets for one day each month for cleaning and
sterilization in the first three months of each year when birds and
people are most susceptible to the flu, but this year that will
increase to three days, the Foshan Health and Family Planning Bureau
said in a statement on its website.
The monthly shutdowns, covering all live poultry markets in the
city, will be effective from the 16th to the 18th for the first
three months of the year.
Guangzhou, the capital of the southern province, announced a similar
move earlier this week.
The province of Guangdong registered 14 cases of human infection in
December out of a total of 106 across the country, according to
government releases. China has culled over 175,000 birds following
five outbreaks among poultry.
While markets and farmers typically ramp up sterilization and
cleaning regimes during the winter, the issue has raised concerns
this year as nearby countries South Korea and Japan battle
particularly severe outbreaks.
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Three cities in eastern China's Jiangsu province suspended live
poultry trading after neighboring provinces reported human bird flu
cases. Local governments in Fujian and Anhui provinces have also
restricted poultry trade.
(Reporting by Hallie Gu and Josephine Mason; Editing by Tom Hogue)
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