Steaming a freshly slaughtered chicken to get the feathers out. Photo taken during a field trip to Chongqing in November 2013.
Live poultry markets have been shut down again this winter in many places in China as a new spate of H7N9 human infections have been reported (see last year’s article about this issue: http://urbachina.hypotheses.org/4492). Numerous experts have indicated that visiting live poultry markets may be the most likely source of infection. The Golden Triangle of the Yangtze, particularly Zhejiang province, and Guangdong province are the worst affected regions. Hong Kong has introduced stringent measures to keep the virus at bay, requiring mainland farms to operate under licence, and ordering the slaughtering and freezing of any available unsold poultry at the end of the day. Public concern might lead to a permanent closure of poultry markets. Experts advocate a change in people’s lifestyle, promoting buying frozen chicken instead of fresh.1 The most disturbing fact is that the drugs currently available seem to be ineffective. Therefore, the strategy is to deal with the virus at its source. The days of live poultry markets in China may well be numbered.
Live poultry market in Guanling county, Anshun city (Guizhou)
- http://www.scmp.com/news/china/article/1425639/expect-more-human-h7n9-bird-flu-cases-if-live-poultry-sales-continue. Last visited on 13 Feb 2014 [↩]