The Avian Flu Virus in Chicken

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The Avian Flu Virus in Chicken

There are only ten more days until we celebrate our biggest holiday of the year, Chinese New Year. It is the year of the monkey, the monkey in our culture is supposed to be very lively and mischievous and full of energy. It has been three months since I had chicken, I have been eating fish and vegetables, but I really miss eating chicken meat.

In our village where there are 20 families, 14 families are in the business of selling poultry to support their income, many of them also sold eggs to supplement their income. Our village has a population of 125, yet ten of the villagers have been diagnosed as having the avian flu virus, more commonly known as the H5N1 virus and of them, three had already died because of this virus.

Everyone in our village is on edge as we are afraid of whether we will be the next one infected with the virus or not. Today I am going to the market to buy flowers, red meat, fruits and red envelopes to help my parents to get our house ready for the New Year. The mood in the market is the same as normal, there are more businesses than usual because everyone is busied trying to prepare for the New Year. If a visitor came to our village for a visit, the visitor would not notice any difference in our village life. However, underneath that normal exterior, something is very wrong in our village.

Normally, the market is the busiest as people flocked to buy chicken and eggs so that they can cook for the New Year. The place where usually I have to shout and push my way so that I could buy a chicken from that place is now emptied. I could even hear my own echo when I shouted which disturbed me very much, I never thought that I could hear my own voice.

As I walked back from the market, I stop by my neighbor and friend's house, Ngoc, to say hello to her. Her little brother, Tuan, was one of the victims of the avian flu, but unfortunately, he did not make it. I came inside her house and went to her back yard where she is holding a chicken that her father had just killed, while on the floor, there are more than 150 dead birds laying on the ground.

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