Cheung Sha Wan Poultry Wholesale Market will be closed until February 18, 2014, after a batch of live chickens from Foshan, Guangdong, was confirmed to have the H7N9 avian influenza virus, according to a statement from Hong Kong's Secretary for Food and Health, Dr. Ko Wing-man. All live poultry in the market -- about 20,000 birds -- have been culled to prevent spread of the virus.

The city has also blocked live poultry imports from mainland China during the market closure.


Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department officers will inspect local farms to collect samples for testing to monitor whether the local farms have been infected.

The ban is in place days before the start of Chinese New Year, when traders usually see a big boost in sales.