Cap­tured mice ‘free from dis­eases’

China Daily (Canada) - - XI’S VISIT - By SHAN JUAN shan­juan@chi­

Pub­lic health de­part­ments in Bei­jing dis­missed pub­lic fears of mouse-borne in­fec­tions af­ter at least 80 white mice were cap­tured near Bei­jing Olympic Park on Tues­day.

He Xiong, deputy di­rec­tor of the Bei­jing Cen­ter for Dis­ease Con­trol and Preven­tion, said on Wed­nes­day that all the mice had been cap­tured and would be dis­posed of prop­erly.

“Lab tests on them showed they are free from any bac­te­ria or viruses, so the pub­lic doesn’t need to panic. It’s safe to visit the park,” He said.

Many peo­ple were con­cerned they might be lab an­i­mals car­ry­ing viruses that could jump to hu­mans. The park, lo­cated in the north of the cap­i­tal, is pop­u­lar with lo­cals. There is also a shop­ping mall nearby.

He stressed that all of the mice had been cap­tured, but a road cleaner near the site told that he still saw some­thing white mov­ing.

“When I ap­proached, I was cer­tain they were mice,” he said.

The mice were first spot­ted by a passer-by who im­me­di­ately called the Chaoyang Dis­trict branch of the Bei­jingCDC at noon on Tues­day.

Pub­lic health work­ers rushed to the site and caught more than 80 mice.

Ac­cord­ing to He, the mice were ap­par­ently raised by peo­ple and would have a dif­fi­cult time sur­viv­ing a nat­u­ral habi­tat like the park.

Zhou Shuo, head of the park’s ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fice, said they had used real time sur­veil­lance to en­sure all the mice were caught.

Zhou said that the mice were ac­tu­ally set free near the west av­enue of the park, rather than in­side, but they were mov­ing, so “we set up the sur­veil­lance to make sure all of them had been caught”, he said.

He warned the pub­lic not to set an­i­mals free in the park, cit­ing pub­lic health rea­sons and that it would up­set or dam­age the eco­log­i­cal bal­ance.

Ac­cord­ing to He, the mice were prob­a­bly kept as pets. Sim­i­lar mice are sold on­line for about 63 yuan ($10) each. The mice re­pro­duce quickly, which can cause prob­lems for un­wary own­ers.

How­ever, Chen nearby res­i­dent, con­cerns.

“The park and health author­i­ties should con­duct through in­ves­ti­ga­tions into the in­ci­dent and in­form the pub­lic of all their find­ings. The park be­longs to the pub­lic and ev­ery­body should pro­tect it,” he said. Gang, a ex­pressed

Zhang Xingjian con­trib­uted to this story.

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