By Erik Crouch
“A total of 20,536 chickens, ducks, geese, and pigeons from a live poultry trading zone in Shanghai were slaughtered after the H7N9 virus was detected there,” reports the Shanghai Daily. In an attempt to stop ‘Flumageddon’ before it expands beyond control, Shanghai authorities have begun slaughtering the full stocks of any bird markets suspected of carrying the H7N9 strain. As of Friday afternoon, 16 people were confirmed to have been infected with the disease that had never been found in humans until last Sunday; six have died.
The 20,000 birds killed in Shanghai are part of a larger plan that involves closing bird markets throughout the region and monitoring people who have become ill after having contact with the birds. According to the Financial Times:
Several of the people infected worked in poultry markets or transporting birds, and on Friday the Shanghai government banned all live poultry trading in the city […]
Vietnam, which has been affected by previous outbreaks of bird flu and other diseases originating in China, said it had banned poultry imports from China because of the risk of H7N9.
Hong Kong authorities have activated an “alert response level” plan that involves monitoring of chicken farms, vaccination, a suspension of live bird imports from mainland China, culling drills, and body temperature checks on people arriving from China.
In other words, you may want to turn down job offers for poultry processing centers, avian markets, and/or anything that touches any livestock at all.