Scientists have found that battery chickens in China are picking up a new strain of flu from humans who are being kept in overly cramped and unhygienic conditions.
The first reported case of human flu in a chicken emerged in Hong Kong. The victim, a six month old battery hen, had been in contact with some infected humans and subsequently ‘developed a snivel’. Unfortunately, officials were not able to conduct further tests on the chicken due to its owner ‘eating every last bit of it’.
Reacting quickly, the Chinese government is already attempting to control the situation by rounding up humans who display any flu-like symptoms, though the government has made it clear that ‘containment’ is their first priority before culling. The government’s advice to anyone who still wants to buy chicken is to protect themselves through ‘intense deep frying’.
Scientists have also confirmed that this new strain of flu, labelled H3NI8, is not confined to battery hens and can in fact be spread to any chicken, even the less-common cockerel. Unlike their female counterparts, the males appear to be much more seriously affected by human flu. In most cases a cockerel will firstly show signs of a slight cough which will quickly develop into the bird seemingly at death’s door. So far, no cockerels have actually died from human flu and all have managed to make miraculous recoveries.
Understandably, there is unrest amongst Chinese people who are particularly concerned that they may have purchased an infected chicken at full price. Chicken stock prices have unsurprisingly plummeted, leading some chicken breeders into the shady world of ‘Lemsip doping’ to conceal their chickens’ symptoms. Chinese consumers are therefore being advised to avoid any product described as ‘lemon chicken’.