Via The Standard, a January 23 report: Imported poultry up for serum test in hunt for H7N9. Excerpt:
Mainland poultry imports will be tested for H7N9 bird flu using the more effective "serology" test starting tomorrow, the food and health chief said.
Serological testing involves studying blood serum for antibodies.
But Ko Wing-man did not say whether imports will be halted if any poultry tests positive for the virus, which has so far infected 211 people in the mainland and three in Hong Kong.
Ko said 30 samples from each batch of mainland poultry will be tested and if any tests positive for H7N9, the sample size will be increased by an additional 120 and DNA tests carried out.
Ko also voiced concern about the H7N9 outbreak in the mainland, where more than 40 cases have already been reported this year.
He said serological testing in Man Kam To Animal Inspection Station and local poultry farms will be able to "better enhance the safety of imported poultry, as well as protect Hong Kong people against the threat of H7N9."
Ko added: "The serum test can detect antibodies to the virus in poultry, giving people an idea of how widely it is spreading among the bird population, and can trace a longer history of infection." The DNA test will be carried out for accuracy as the serology test cannot determine whether the birds have recovered and developed immunity or could still spread the virus.
The DNA test has been in use since April, also on 30 samples in each batch of mainland and local farmed chicken.