Third farm in SA reports outbreak of H5 avian flu

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A third farm has reported an outbreak of the H5 avian flu. This follows an outbreak recorded on chicken farms in Gauteng and the North West. The outbreak has led to at least three Southern African Development Community (SADC) counties putting a hold or a ban on South African poultry products.

Two weeks ago a farm in Ekurhuleni, Gauteng, confirmed a case of Avian Flu. The farm was placed under quarantine and about 270 000 birds culled.

Tests on infected samples confirmed that the strain was from a highly pathogenic avian flu called the H5N1.

Two more farms have since tested positive for the H5 virus strain, a chicken-layer farm in Tshwane and a chicken parent breeder farm in the North West.

In this video below, third farm reports outbreak of avian flu:

Animal Health at the Department of Agriculture Land Reform and Rural Development has placed both under quarantine and control measures have been implemented.

No animal-to-human infections have been reported following the three outbreaks.

Several countries have stopped sourcing local poultry products in the meantime. The countries are Botswana, Mozambique and Namibia and the Lesotho.

SA Poultry Association’s Collin Steenhuisen says, “Two days ago, we were advised of an outbreak in a broiler breeder farm in the North West over the past few days 14 000 broiler breeders have been culled and samples taken to Onderstepoort for analysis. We do know it’s the highly pathogenic – H5 – but we don’t know the type. The department had advised us of a third outbreak of avian flu on a commercial egg laying plant in Tshwane.

We don’t know the number of hens involved and will keep you posted. We wish to assure consumers that eggs and broiler meat are safe to consume provided that normal cooking processes are followed and temp exceeding 60° are used in cooking.”

Authorities have called for calm amid the situation.