A survey released Monday by the municipal center for disease control and prevention (CDC) showed that nearly 70 percent of Shenzheners believe poultry sold at local markets is safe to eat, four days after the city confirmed its first human infection of the deadly bird flu virus.
The citywide survey, conducted by the CDC on Saturday and Sunday through its computer-aided telephone interviewing system (CATI), interviewed more than 1,020 people and got 257 valid responses.
A total of 72 percent of the respondents knew the city had witnessed its first confirmed human bird flu case, but less than 40 percent were worried about the situation.
"So far, 66.5 percent people believe it's safe to consume poultry as long as it's properly cooked and nearly 82 percent are satisfied with the government action soon after the bird flu case was confirmed," said Jiang Lijuan, a spokeswoman for the CDC.
Supermarkets and restaurants such as Jusco, Carrefour and KFC told reporters that sales of frozen or cooked chicken products have not been affected.
However, chicken vendors at the Meilin wet market said they had seen a 20 to 30 percent drop in business during the weekend.
The Municipal Administration for Industry and Commerce confirmed the slaughter of chicken was still allowed at wet markets.
"Only the Anliang Market where the bird flu patient's wife bought a freshly slaughtered chicken was closed for health concerns," a spokeswoman for the bureau surnamed Zhang said.
The survey also showed that the public was extremely interested in knowing more about bird flu. Nearly 80 percent of the 257 respondents said they were very interested in bird flu-related news covered by the media, while 68 percent had seen material related to bird flu prevention distributed by the CDC.
However, 46 percent of the interviewees did not know how avian flu was spread.
(Shenzhen Daily June 20, 2006)