Picture for representation
Picture for representation Reuters

One week after Chinese government issued a high alert over bird flu, Ministry of Agriculture said the outbreak of the virus has been controlled. In a statement on 30 December, the ministry said that the spread of bird flu has been handled in a "timely and effective" manner and chicken products or prices remain unaffected.

Reuters reported the government department, in an emailed statement, said that the situation in the world's second-largest poultry consumer, which appeared bleak before, is now "stable".

However, on 23 December, The Asian giant confirmed the first two deaths from bird flu in Anhui province. The incident prompted the government to take preventive measures like thorough cleaning, animal detention techniques and adequate culling. More than 110,000 birds have been slaughtered in the last two months to contain the infection.

Bird flu in other Asian countries

This news, no doubt, has put pressure on neighbouring countries like Japan and South Korea which are still struggling to combat the H7N9 virus. While Japan began slaughtering around 210,000 farm birds in northern Hokkaido from 18 December, South Korea issued a nationwide alert to make citizen aware of the disease. It was also reported that the country has already carried out culling of at least 12 percent of its total poultry population and other quarantine measures like the nationwide standstill order has been stepped up to stop the wider spread of the virus.

Hong Kong, Shanghai still not relieved?

Also, on the very same day, Shanghai and Hong Kong each confirmed a new human case of infection by the H7N9 strain of avian influenza. Shanghai's health authority said the man, who has been diagnosed with H7N9 bird flu strain is being treated in a hospital. On the other hand, Hong Kong confirmed its second case of this season after an elderly man died of the virus on 25 December.