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Beijing's first H7N9 patient came in contact with Tianjin chickens

By Cheng Yingqi | China Daily | Updated: 2013-04-15 08:00

Beijing's first H7N9 patient came in contact with Tianjin chickens

A worker disinfects a pigeon coop at a Tiantongyuan community public square in Beijing's Changping district on Sunday. The community's property management company has restricted the outdoor activity of more than 300 pigeons it raised in the square. These birds will not be allowed go outside the coop until the end of the H7N9 bird flu outbreak. Fu Ding / for China Daily

Beijing's first confirmed case of H7N9 - a 7-year-old girl from Shunyi district - came into contact with poultry shipped from Tianjin before being infected, authorities said.

The girl's parents, who are poultry dealers, bought chicken in Tianjin to sell to villagers in Beijing's Shunyi and Chaoyang districts, said an animal health inspection official in Shunyi surnamed Ding.

The Beijing Agricultural and Animal Health Bureau organized the killing of all 503 chickens, ducks and geese kept in the village. The villagers were paid 30 yuan ($4.80) per bird as compensation.

"To test for the H7N9 virus, we have to draw blood from the head of the poultry, so we have to kill them first," Ding said.

The bureau took more than 150 samples from poultry, and caged 2,700 carrier pigeons in the village. Test results showed the chicken, ducks and geese were not carrying H7N9.

The girl's father Yao Jiang took over the poultry business from another villager on April 2, and inherited chickens and some tools from the dealer. On April 4 Yao bought another 60 chickens from Tianjin.

Later, Yao sold 29 chickens in Shunyi and Chaoyang, and killed two for home consumption.

"On the morning of April 11, I found my child had a fever, and I soon remembered H7N9, which I saw from TV, so I took her to the hospital," Yao was quoted as saying by Beijing Youth Daily.

"But I'm still not sure she caught H7N9 from our chickens, because I had killed chickens, cooked chicken and ate chicken, and I'm still fine. But my girl had never touched the chickens. She stood at least one or two steps away from the chickens watching them," he said.

Yao and his wife are now quarantined at home.

A dealer surnamed Tai who lives in Baodi district in Tianjin, said he had sold chickens to Yao. The chickens were from a farm in Wuqing district of Tianjin.

The Tianjin government tested Tai's chickens and chickens at the farm in Wuqing. No H7N9 virus was detected.

Also, according to the Beijing Municipal Landscape and Forestry Bureau, the city government suspended the transport and selling of wild birds, though the epidemic had not been detected in any, local media reported on Sunday.

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