Li Y, Wang Y, Shen C, Huang J, Kang J, et al. Closure of live bird markets leads to the spread of H7N9 influenza in China. PLoS One. 2018 Dec 12;13(12):e0208884
Following the emergence of H7N9 influenza in March 2013, local animal and public health authorities in China have been closing live bird markets as a measure to try to control the H7N9 influenza epidemic. The role of live bird market (LBM) closure on the spread of N7N9 influenza following the closure of LBMs during March to May 2013 (the first wave) and October 2013 to March 2014 (the second wave) is described in this paper. Different provinces implemented closure actions at different times, and intensive media reports on H7N9 in different provinces started at different times. Local broiler prices dropped dramatically in places with outbreaks and more live chickens were transported to other LBMs in neighboring areas without human cases from infected areas when live bird markets were being closed. There were six clusters of human infection from March to May 2013 and October 2013 to March 2014 and there may have been intensive poultry transportation among cluster areas. These findings provide evidence that the closure of LBMs in early waves of H7N9 influenza had resulted in expansion of H7N9 infection to uninfected areas. This suggests that provincial authorities in inland provinces should be alert to the risks of sudden changes in movement patterns for live birds after LBM closure or increased publicity about LBM closure.
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