|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
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, AFP said.
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
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 Reuters.