China bird flu virus ‘devastating’ sales

AFP-JIJI

China’s bird flu outbreak is “devastating” poultry sales, an industry group said as the death toll from the H7N9 virus rose to nine.

Since China announced over a week ago that the strain had been found in humans for the first time, the number of people confirmed to have been infected has risen to 28. The two new victims who died Tuesday were from eastern China and had been already been confirmed with the virus, the Xinhua state news agency said.

State media said that poultry sales had plunged in some areas of China, even in regions that have so far recorded no human infections.

“It’s really a devastating blow to the market for broilers,” Qiu Baoqin, vice secretary general of China’s National Poultry Industry Association, said. “The impact is extremely big.”