Zhejiang halts live poultry trade amid bird flu concerns

HANGZHOU, Feb. 11 (Xinhua) -- East China's Zhejiang Province has ordered all markets across the province to halt live poultry trade before 6 p.m. Saturday over bird flu concerns.

Staff with the Zhejiang Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Zhejiang CDC) said that the province has entered a high season of bird flu outbreak.

In January alone, Zhejiang reported 35 infections of the H7N9 strain of bird flu, according to the provincial Health and Family Planning Commission. Contact with live poultry is still the major source of infection, particularly in rural areas.

Earlier this week, southwest China's Yunnan Province reported a death from H7N9. In the central province of Hunan, a suspension has been placed on the sale of live poultry in several markets.

H7N9 is a bird flu strain first reported to have infected humans in China in March 2013. It is most likely to strike in winter and spring.

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