Health officials in eastern China killed 20,000 live hens Tuesday, January 28, after a sample tested positive for bird flu virus H7N9.
The hens were imported from the mainland and were placed in black plastic bags that were later filled with poisonous gas.
“The Agriculture, Fisheries, and Conservation Department has confirmed that a sample taken from a chicken imported from the mainland [China] was tested positive for the H7N9 avian influenza virus,” stated Ko Wingman, Hong Kong’s secretary of health on Monday.
The market where the virus was found, Cheung Sha Wan, has been sterilized and will remain closed for 21 days. Live poultry sales throughout eastern China have also been shut down for now to prevent any further infections, which spread from bird to bird.
So far, two people have died as a result of the H7N9 bird flu virus in Hong Kong and another 19 in China with 98 having been infected this year.