Bird Flu Deaths In China Rise To Six As 20,000 Birds Are Killed In Market Cull (PHOTOS)

The death toll from a new strain of bird flu found in Shanghai, China has risen to six this week as the Chinese government staged a cull of thousands of birds in a thriving poultry market to prevent a potential spread of the disease.

Some 20,000 birds have been killed at the popular Huhaui bird market in the city after pigeons at smaller nearby markets were found to be infected with the disease.

Six people have now died of the new H7N9 strain of the disease from a total of 14 cases recorded since March.

The World Health Organisation have said that they believe the new strain can not be transmitted from person to person but the WHO are actively monitoring 400 people who have been in direct contact with the 14 patients.

Shanghai are also preventing any live animal imports into the city, which has a population of more than 23million people, and is also temporarily closing down other poultry markets.

According to Reuters there are also fears that concerns over a potential epidemic could lead to drastic dip in airline shares. Stocks in poultry-mear companies have already dropped significantly.