Within one week of reporting that the outbreak of bird flu virus was effectively controlled, China has confirmed a new human case of H7N9 avian influenza in Guizhou province.
Till date, China has reported a total of 19 bird flu infected people this winter and at least three of them have died. However, on 30 December, China's Ministry of Agriculture said the spread of bird flu has been handled in a "timely and effective" manner and chicken products or prices remain unaffected.
While the latest patient, a 49-year old chicken trader, has been hospitalised in Qiannan prefecture and is under strict observation, local people are taking precautionary measures to prevent the infection from spreading further.
China has already culled more than 170,000 birds in four provinces and has closed some live poultry markets since October 2016. Anhui province, especially, has internalised several preventive measures like thorough cleaning, animal detention techniques and adequate culling after it saw two deaths from the highly contagious virus.
The last time when China faced a severe outbreak of bird flu was in 2013-2014. At least 36 people were killed and the agricultural sector was hit by a loss of more than US$6 billion.
Bird flu has also spread in other Asian countries like Korea and Japan. 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.