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Wuhan Bird Flu Outbreak Censored by Local Media
Guo Liang and Yu Shancai, Sound of Hope Radio Network
3/7/2009

A recent outbreak of H5N1 bird flu in Wuhan City of Hubei Province led to a mass slaughter of local poultry. Local residents report that cases of human infections have occurred in Wuhanís Huangbei and Xinzhou districts. Local media has completely censored all news about the outbreak.

According to a source from Dongxihu District of Wuhan, many chickens have been killed after bird flu broke out in Liji Town of Dongxihu. The source said that several hundreds of thousands of chickens have already been slaughtered in Xinzhou.

Ms. Zhang, a resident of Liji, said that many places in Wuhan have been affected by the bird flu, but the media is forbidden to report related news. She said, ďThe media arenít allowed to mention it, and we arenít allowed to discuss it with outsiders.Ē

Other locals have also reported cases of bird flu infections, and the mass slaughtering of chickens, in urban areas of Wuhan.

Ms. Chen, who lives close to Wuhan, said that people who have killed their chickens have not received the promised compensation from the authorities. She said that she has twice culled her flock, but received nothing from the authorities.
In January, eight people from Beijing, Shandong, Guizhou, Shanxi, Xinjiang, Guangdong, and Hunan were infected with the H5N1 bird flu virus. Five of the eight infected died. On February 10, Chinese Communist Party officials publicly announced that the first bird flu outbreak occurred in the Hetian Area in Xinjiang Province. To date, no information on the bird flu outbreak in Wuhan has been officially reported.

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