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The Boston Globe

World

China heightens bird flu response

BEIJING — With confirmation that a sixth person has died from a mysterious avian-borne virus, Chinese officials escalated their response 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.

Anxious residents have been buying up stocks of a traditional Chinese cold remedy and crowding emergency rooms at the first sign of respiratory problems. During a news conference in Shanghai on Friday, an official advised journalists to avoid sneezing on others. And at a KFC restaurant in Beijing, employees stood idle as mounds of fried chicken went largely unsold.

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