A new case of human H7N9 in China is to impact the recovery of the damaged poultry sector which has been rocked since the outbreak began earlier this year.
The 61-year-old female patient from Hebei province, is still in a critical condition after being infected with the virus, which was the only diagnosed case in China in July.
In April, the government was forced to close many markets in some areas, including Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces, to prevent the spread of the disease. These markets began to reopen from the end of June and the poultry industry had hoped to recoup some of its losses.
The total losses of poultry-related companies all over the country up until the end of June exceeded 600 billion yuan ($92.2 billion) since the first case of H7N9 virus was discovered by the authorities at the end of March, according to the latest statistics from the National Poultry Industry Association.
“The monitoring system of updated figures on losses was shut down and poultry markets gradually started to reopen at the end of June because there were no more new cases discovered until July 20,” said Liang Zhong, an officer at the National Poultry Industry Association.
Liang added the association would wait for responses from businesses on the further effects of this latest case to decide whether the monitoring system would restart.
The previous outbreak brought the industry to a standstill because fewer people were willing to buy poultry-related products. It led to a sharp fall in the prices of chickens, pigeons, ducks and even eggs.
“There was a slight recovery in prices from the end of June when the poultry markets were gradually reopened in Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces but the newly found case would probably bring about another slowdown in the industry,” said Liang.
Source: China Daily