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Chicken off menu as Hong Kong culls 20,000 birds in H7N9 scare

Published on Jan 28, 2014 4:23 PM
 
Health workers pack dead chickens into trash bins at a wholesale poultry market in Hong Kong on Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014. A cull of 20,000 chickens is under way in Hong Kong on Tuesday after the deadly H7N9 bird flu virus was found in poultry imported from mainland China, days before Chinese New Year. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

HONG KONG (AFP) - A cull of 20,000 chickens is under way in Hong Kong on Tuesday after the deadly H7N9 bird flu virus was found in poultry imported from mainland China, days before Chinese New Year.

Fears over avian flu have grown following the deaths of two men from the H7N9 strain in Hong Kong since December. Both had recently returned from mainland China.

The number of human cases in China this month is 102 with 22 deaths, according to an AFP tally, and the worst-hit province of Zhejiang has closed live poultry markets in major cities there.

Officials wearing masks and protective suits piled dead chickens into black plastic bags at Hong Kong's Cheung Sha Wan market on Tuesday, where the virus was found, television footage showed.

 
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