• Tue
  • Dec 23, 2014
  • Updated: 7:19am
H7N9 avian flu

H7N9 avian flu

The influenza A (H7N9) virus is one subgroup among the larger group of H7 viruses that normally circulate among birds. A number of human infections of the H7N9 virus have been reported in eastern China, mostly in the Yangtze River Delta region since late March 2013. Some of the patients have died of severe pneumonia brought on by the virus.  

Germ warfare: Hong Kong’s never-ending fight against viruses

An electron microscope image of the Mers virus, which appears to be more deadly than Sars. Photos: AP; AFP; David Wong; Corbis; Martin Chan; Edward Wong

Since the fatal outbreak of Sars in 2003, Hong Kong has been battling to keep a succession of diseases at bay. Sarah Lazarus examines the readiness of the city’s defences against ever-evolving strains of viruses.

Friday, 13 December, 2013, 10:13am

Mainland China's delta region grows indifferent to H7N9 at its peril

Workers unload cages of chickens at Cheung Sha Wan poultry wholesale market. Photo: Sam Tsang

The Pearl River Delta is entering peak bird flu season but the region appears unprepared for a possible outbreak.

19 Dec 2014 - 8:42pm 1 comment

Mutation increases risk of infections

A pattern of genetic mutation has been found in avian flu that leads to a higher possibility of infections and diseases in humans. Photo: Herbert Tsang

A pattern of genetic mutation has been found in avian flu that leads to a higher possibility of infections and diseases in humans.

21 Nov 2014 - 4:43am

Shenzhen makes a half-hearted start to trial ban on live poultry

Shenzhen is the second Pearl River Delta city to ban live chicken sales after Guangzhou. Illegal hawking has sprung up to cater to the demand. Photo: David Wong

Shenzhen this week made a halting start to its trial ban on the sale of live poultry in Futian, the densely populated district directly across from Hong Kong, in a bid to reduce the incidence of bird flu.

12 Jul 2014 - 2:44am 1 comment

Bird flu threat has eased, says health chief

Bird flu threat has eased, says health chief

The government has lowered Hong Kong's influenza pandemic response level from "serious" to "alert" as the H7N9 bird flu outbreak has eased.

13 Jun 2014 - 3:50pm

When it comes to live-chicken sales, health should be the top priority

Guangzhou city government has imposed a ban on the sales of live poultry in 82 wet markets.

As Guangzhou suspended live-poultry sales in nearly a third of its wet markets and substituted central slaughtering as part of a pilot scheme, a spokeswoman for the Hong Kong government revealed that it was revisiting the live-trade issue.

12 May 2014 - 8:49am

Sichuan man dies in first human case of H5N6 bird flu

Quarantine workers sterilise a wholesale market in Macau after traces of H7N9 were found. Photo: Xinhua

A 49-year-old man in Sichuan has died of H5N6 bird flu in the first known human infection of the strain in the world.

7 May 2014 - 8:27am

Guangzhou begins trial ban of live poultry sales after H7N9 wet market tests

Vendor Li Jinying at her stall in Haizhu district, which is not included in the trial run. Photo: K.Y. Cheng

Guangzhou suspended sales of live poultry at nearly a third of its wet markets yesterday as it began a four-month pilot scheme. 

6 May 2014 - 4:50pm

More live-chicken retailers join boycott over prices

More live-chicken retailers join boycott over prices

About half of Hong Kong's estimated 130 chicken retailers will be closed for business this week in protest at soaring wholesale prices, while traders have warned of a further drop in supply expected in coming weeks putting more pressure on costs.

14 Apr 2014 - 6:21am

China's 2014 bird flu death toll rises to nearly 100

Two chickens waiting for delivery to a market in Anshun, Guizhou Province. Photo: AFP

Almost 100 people in China have died from the H7N9 bird flu strain in the first three months of the year, but the number of both fatalities and infections declined in March, government figures showed.

11 Apr 2014 - 2:27pm

Man rushed to hospital from border has H7N9

A new human vaccine against deadly H7N9 bird flu can be available by the end of this year the earliest, says health secretary Dr Ko Wing-man. Photo: AFP

A 65-year-old man who crossed into the city from the mainland has been confirmed to have the potentially fatal H7N9 bird flu virus - taking the number of cases in Hong Kong to eight, all of them contracted across the border.

5 Apr 2014 - 5:46am

HKU team hail H7N9 flu vaccine 'breakthrough'

HKU team hail H7N9 flu vaccine 'breakthrough'

University of Hong Kong researchers have developed a vaccine that may be the first in the world to offer a shield against many influenza viruses - including the deadly H7N9 bird flu strain - in one simple shot.

2 Apr 2014 - 7:58am 5 comments

First H7N9 found on Chinese poultry farm

Quarantine workers sterilise the Nam Yue wholesale market in Macau last week after traces of H7N9 were found. Photo: Xinhua

Mainland authorities have discovered H7N9 on a Guangdong poultry farm, just two weeks after the agriculture minister noted that the country's farms had so far been free from the deadly bird flu strain.

21 Mar 2014 - 4:13am

Ban on Chinese live poultry extended for four months

Sales of locally bred chickens, like these at Hong Kong Modern Farm in Kam Tin, Yuen Long, resume today. Photo: Sam Tsang

A ban on live poultry from the mainland, to prevent the entry of the deadly H7N9 flu virus, has been extended for four months but sales of live local chickens resume today.

19 Feb 2014 - 4:22pm 6 comments

Wholesalers to get HK$30 for each chicken culled

Wholesalers to get HK$30 for each chicken culled

Wholesalers will receive HK$30 government compensation for each chicken culled last month because of bird flu while breeders will get about HK$30 ex gratia for each chicken that could not be sold at a prime age because of suspension of the trade.

14 Feb 2014 - 4:12am