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Central China halts live poultry trade amid bird flu concerns

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-02-07 16:54

CHANGSHA -- A suspension has been placed on the sale of live poultry in several markets in the central province of Hunan over bird flu concerns.

Hunan has reported 20 H7N9 human infections, including five fatalities, since 2017, according to the provincial center for disease control and prevention Tuesday.

The center expects more infections in the following months and, thus, decided to close several markets in cities including Changsha and Yueyang.

The markets were ordered to disinfect on a regular basis to prevent the virus from spreading.

There have been no human-to-human transmission of the H7N9 virus and no major genetic mutation of the virus has been found, according to the center.

H7N9 is a bird flu strain first reported to have infected humans in March 2013 in China. It is most likely to strike in winter and spring.

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