First Case of Avian Flu Reported in Guangdong Since Live Poultry BanPosted: 05/10/2014 1:39 pm
The Guangdong Provincial Health and Family Planning Commission has confirmed a new case of avian flu, reports their official website on May 9.
A 50 year-old Zhongshan man surnamed Liang, a resident currently living in Henglan village, was positively diagnosed with the H7N9 virus on May 9. Suffering from a chronic kidney disease, the patient is currently in critical condition at a Zhongshan hospital.
Prior cases of avian flu in Guangdong include a May 1 confirmed diagnosis of the H7N9 virus of a 53 year-old female patient from Luohu District in Shenzhen named Zhong, and a April 20 diagnosis of a 55 year-old patient named Wang from Shantou.
Guangdong experienced an avian flu outbreak of five cases at the beginning of April.
In other developments, a Guangzhou patient named He that contracted the virus on April 8 has been cured and was released on April 23, while a patient named Zhou diagnosed on April 24 passed away of respiratory illness on May 4.
The May 9 report marks the first reported case of avian flu in Guangdong to occur since a six-month trial ban upon live poultry markets was first initiated in the city of Guangzhou on May 4.
The ban replaces the closure of live poultry markets by supplying chickens that are slaughtered and processed at a centralized location before being frozen and shipped out to markets for consumption.
Residents have been resistant to the new plan with sellers complaining of low sales, and few repeat customers. A black market selling live poultry has now been rumored to exist.
A recent survey revealed 38 percent of Guangzhou residents are not in favor of closing the live poultry markets, while 66 percent of residents believe that frozen chicken will compromise the taste and flavor of cooked chicken dishes.
Guangdong residents have proven themselves resilient at the threat of avian flu. In April 2013, Guangdonger were photographed transporting live chicken purchases as bird culls and avian flu threats substantially lower the price of chickens.
In related news, 20,000 chickens at a farm in Pinggu, Beijing have died suddenly, though preliminary reports say that avian flu has been ruled out as a cause.
More than 120 people in China had been killed by the H7N9 strain of avian influenza as of April 21, reports Xinhua News.