Bird Flu Outbreak Is Spreading Fear in China
A new strain of avian flu called H7N9, which has caused 18 deaths, is causing deepening concern. People are avoiding zoos, passing up chicken dinners, and farmers are killing their flocks.
On a subway car in Shanghai, commotion breaks out when someone spots a live chicken poking its head out of a bag tucked under one of the seats.
On a highway in Zhejiang province, a motorist is so panicked by bird droppings landing on her windshield that she stops the car and calls traffic police for help.
Internet photos of dead sparrows on a Nanjing sidewalk are ordered removed by police, fearing they might go viral.
The fowl phobia gripping China is the result of a new strain of avian flu that has led to 18 deaths and 95 diagnosed illnesses over the last month.
Health authorities are concerned because of the unpredictable nature of the virus, known as H7N9. Unlike in previous incarnations of avian flu, infected birds here are showing no signs of being sick, making it harder to stem the disease at its source.