05/21/2013 01:51 pm ET Updated Jul 21, 2013

H7N9 Bird Flu Outbreak Costs More Than $6.5 Billion So Far, UN Says

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GENEVA, May 21 (Reuters) - The H7N9 bird flu outbreak in China has caused economic losses of more than $6.5 billion so far, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization's chief veterinary officer said on Tuesday.

"The economic impacts of H7N9 have been astounding," Juan Lubroth said during a presentation at the World Health Assembly in Geneva.

"Over $6.5 billion has been lost in the agriculture sector because of prices, consumer confidence and trade. So poultry industry losses in China have been high," he said.

(Reporting by Tom Miles; Editing by Michael Roddy)