China stops poultry sales after second human bird flu infection confirmed

Imports from more than 60 countries, including Japan and South Korea have already been prohibited.

China confirms second human bird flu infection; stops poultry sales
A health officer put culled poultry in a plastic bag at a wholesale market, as trade in live poultry suspended after a spot check at a local street market revealed the presence of H7N9 bird flu virus Reuters

China confirmed a second case of human bird flu infection this week while South Korea and Japan are battling to control outbreak of the deadly virus.

Citing Xiamen city's diseases prevention and control centre, Chinese state news agency Xinhua said the local authorities have ordered to stop poultry sales from Thursday. This step was taken after a 44-year-old man was diagnosed with the H7N9 avian flu on Sunday in the Siming district of the city in China's eastern Fujian province.

According to the report, the infected man is being treated in hospital and is in stable condition at present. This latest case comes after Hong Kong confirmed an elderly man being infected with the disease earlier this week.

Last month, both South Korea and Japan ordered the killing of tens of millions of birds as a preventive measure to check the regional spread of the disease. The Chinese farmers have already started preparing for the year's peak demand during Lunar New Year celebrations at the end of January increasing the concern regarding the spread of the virulent airborne bird flu.

Reports said the recent bird flu outbreaks in nearby countries have triggered the concern issue and farmers are feeding their flocks more vitamins and vaccines. They have also ramped up henhouse sterilisations as a way to protect their birds.

The authorities said on Wednesday that they would ban imports of poultry from countries where there are outbreaks of highly pathogenic bird flu. Imports from more than 60 countries, including Japan and South Korea have already been prohibited.

On March 2013, the first case of H7N9, a bird flu strain, was reported in China.