Intense Farming spreads bird Flu says Chinese media

A STATE-BACKED Chinese newspaper has blamed “intense” farming methods for heightening the risk of deadly diseases such as H7N9 bird flu crossing from animals to humans.

China has confirmed 18 cases – including six deaths – of the new strain of avian influenza, so far confined to its developed east coast, since announcing a week ago that the virus had been discovered in humans for the first time.

“Normally, diseases are likely to break out in poor areas. Why is it the other way around in China?” the Global Times editorial asks.

“In China’s southern and eastern coastal areas, agriculture, especially animal husbandry, has become more intense and populations more dense,” says the English-language edition of the paper, known for its pro-China stance. “There is greater chance of contact between humans and animals, and subsequent diseases. Local authorities have to develop disease prevention and control methods to match this situation, but this is a weak spot in the country’s overall development.”

Shanghai, which reported two new cases on Saturday to bring the city’s total to eight, with four deaths, has slaughtered birds, banned live poultry trading and shut markets in an effort to prevent spread of the disease.

Nanjing followed Shanghai by shutting markets selling live poultry to its more than eight million residents, while Hangzhou culled birds after discovering infected quail.

Chinese authorities maintain there is no evidence of human-to-human transmission for the H7N9 cases.

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Posted by on April 8, 2013. Filed under Breaking News,China,Print. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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