China is currently dealing with an outbreak of deadly bird flu (H7N9 virus). As of April 10, there have been nine deaths and 28 confirmed infections, largely in the Shanghai area. Officials have been taking measures to prevent the spread of the disease, but they may have acted too slowly.

A rash of shocking photos from around China has been shocking Web users over the last couple of days. The images show sparrows and pigeons lying dead on the ground with no visible signs of injury. And not just one or two, but several and sometimes more than 10 mysteriously downed birds, leaving many to speculate whether bird flu is to blame.

Dead birds have been confirmed in Nanjing, Chengdu and Hubei Province, where witnesses to the mass die-offs have photographed the carcasses and put them online.

According to one person in Nanjing, “Under a magnolia tree, there were all these dead sparrows. I have no idea where they came from or what killed them.”

Another person in Hubei said, “This pigeon just like fell out of the sky dead. At school, too, we found all these bodies of little songbirds.”

What would cause so many birds to drop dead at once without any visible sign of injury?

The problem appears to be centered in the Yangtze River Basin at the moment, with cases in Changzhou, Suzhou, Jingmen, and Huanggang. Hopefully, the relevant agencies in China will be able to swiftly deal with this problem.


[ Read in Japanese ]