|January 15, 2004,
just-food.com: Southeast Asia is suffering from
a flu epidemic but it is not its citizens that are sick.
Thousands of chickens have died of bird flu in recent
weeks, prompting China to announce the closing of it borders
to poultry imports from South Korea, Vietnam and Japan,
reported Agence France-Presse.
China placed the ban to protect itself from the highly
contagious bird flu virus, according to state media.
China is mainly a poultry exporter, rather than an importer,
so the outbreaks in neighboring countries are unlikely
to affect the country’s domestic poultry market,
Meanwhile, the outbreak of bird flu in Japan has left
officials baffled as to how the outbreak occurred.
Officials from Japan’s agriculture ministry said
the strain of the virus that had been found in Japan
is the same as that found in South Korea and Vietnam,
but they have been unable to discover how an outbreak
occurred in Yamaguchi, western Japan.
The Japanese outbreak is the country’s first
in almost 80 years.
Agriculture Minister Yoshiyuki Kamei sought to alleviate
consumer fears over the outbreak, saying there have
been no reports of the virus being transmitted to humans
through the consumption of chicken or eggs, reported