New York Times

With confirmation that a sixth person has died from a mysterious avian-borne virus, Chinese officials escalated their response on Friday, advising people to avoid live poultry, dispatching virologists to chicken farms across the country and slaughtering more than 20,000 birds at a wholesale market in Shanghai where the virus, known as H7N9, was detected in a pigeon.

A technician carried out a test on a suspected infected sample using the H7N9 bird flu virus test reagents at the center for disease control and prevention in Hefei, Anhui province in China on Friday.

News of the outbreak dominated China’s main Internet portals. There were photographs of workers in white coveralls carrying out the culling in Shanghai and recommendations that people take banlangen, an herbal cold remedy that is a mainstay of Chinese households. Anxious residents have been crowding emergency rooms at the first sign of respiratory problems. And at a KFC restaurant in Beijing, employees stood idle as mounds of fried chicken went largely unsold. “They say it’s O.K. to eat cooked chicken, but I’d rather not take the chance,” Zhang Minyu, 41, a housewife, said as she coaxed her young son to instead order a soft-serve ice cream.

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Associated Press photo


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