China's bird flu outbreak cost $ 6.5 billion
Posted on: 08:35 AM IST May 22, 2013
Geneva: The H7N9 bird flu outbreak in China has caused economic losses of more than $6.5 billion so far, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization's chief veterinary officer said on Tuesday.
"The economic impacts of H7N9 have been astounding," Juan Lubroth said during a presentation at the World Health Assembly in Geneva.
"Over $6.5 billion has been lost in the agriculture sector because of prices, consumer confidence and trade. So poultry industry losses in China have been high," he said.
The new bird flu virus is known to have infected 130 people in mainland China since emerging in March, including 36 who died, but no cases have been detected since early May, Health Minister Li Bin told a meeting of the World Health Organization. One case was found in Taiwan in April, making a total of 131.