Closing live markets stopped killer flu
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 2013: (Actually published on November 20, 2013.)
HONG KONG––Closing 780 live poultry markets in the Chinese cities of Shanghai, Hangzhou, Huzhou and Nanjing stopped an April 2013 outbreak of a deadly new subtype of the H7N9 avian flu strain, confirmed Hong Kong University researchers Hongjie Yu, Joseph T. Wu, Benjamin J. Cowling with data published in the October 31, 2013 edition of The Lancet. Founded in 1823, The Lancet is the world’s oldest and arguably most prestigious medical journal. First identified in humans in February 2013, the new H7N9 virus has killed about 30% of the human victims in laboratory-confirmed cases, according to the World Health Organization. H7N9 avian flu viruses were previously considered relatively harmless. The live market closures reduced the mean daily number of human infections 99% in Shanghai and Hangzhou, and 97% in Huzhou and Nanjing, Yu, Wu, and Cowling found. Poultry marketers claimed losses of $9.35 billion because of the closures, which they contended were unnecessary.