The outbreak in Yongzhou, a city of more than 5 million people, was
detected among farmers raising so-called layers, chickens that are
bred for egg production, with about 29,760 birds infected, and
around 18,500 dying of the disease.
Laboratory tests confirmed the birds had the H7N9 virus, leading to
the culling of 171,179 chickens, said the statement on the
The outbreak is now under control, the ministry said.
The case comes after a surge in the rate of human infections with
H7N9, leading to 161 deaths in China since October.
Live poultry markets have been shut down in many provinces following
the human infections, but until recently the virus had been
difficult to detect in poultry.
The strain has however evolved into a highly pathogenic strain in
some parts of the country, leading to more obvious symptoms in
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(Reporting by Dominique Patton; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)
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