Live poultry markets closed in China after avian flu outbreak

In the south-central regions of China, live poultry markets are being closed since over 250 people have been infected in 16 provinces, and 87 people have died because of avian flu. Officials are training to recognize symptoms earlier and treatment plans, and are warning people to stay away from live birds.

Advice For Travellers

During the past few years, sporadic reports of people infected with avian influenza (H7N9) have been received from various provinces in China, including Hong Kong. This virus causes a severe and often fatal respiratory infection in humans and is universally fatal in poultry, especially chickens. Most of the cases have been in people who have close contact with chickens that carry this virus, especially people working in the live chicken markets where they are slaughtered.

The risk for the general traveller is extremely low, since person-to-person spread of this flu strain is rare. However, the risk of exposure can be minimized by avoiding visiting live poultry markets where the virus may be found.