Photo Credit – FAO
A report this morning from Xinhua News reveals only a small percentage of Shanghai market birds tested this week showed signs of the newly emerging H7N9 virus.
Of 738 samples collected from birds and surrounding environment, only 20 (less than 3%) proved positive for the H7N9 virus.
The type and sensitivity of these tests are not described in this report, nore are we provided with exactly how many birds were tested. We basically learn that only 10 chickens, and 3 pigeons tested positive.
English.news.cn 2013-04-09 15:32:06
BEIJING, April 9 (Xinhua) -- A preliminary analysis shows that H7N9 bird flu has not triggered an epidemic among poultry, according to a Tuesday report in the People's Daily that cited a veterinary expert.
Of the 738 samples collected from three live poultry markets in Shanghai, where the first known human deaths of the disease were reported, only 20 samples contained H7N9 virus, including 10 from chickens, three from pigeons and seven from environmental samples, the report said.
The government's chief veterinarian Yu Kangzhen was quoted as saying that it was the first time the Ministry of Agriculture had detected the virus in domestic animals.
The relationship between the virus detected in poultry and the virus that has infected humans has yet to be determined, Yu said.
The possibility of infection among animals in other regions has not been ruled out and the ministry has called for epidemic monitoring for animals across the nation, the report said.
It quoted Yu as saying that it's still safe to eat poultry meat purchased from regular channels, such as supermarkets, as long as they are thoroughly cooked.
"The virus could be killed under high temperature," said Yu.
While reassuring to poultry sellers in Shanghai, this report (if corroborated by additional testing in Shanghai and other provinces) leaves us without clear answers regarding the reservoir host (or hosts) for this virus, or the manner in which 24 people have recently been infected.
The epidemiological investigation continues. Stay tuned.