Over 130,000 poultry were killed in the avian flu outbreak in South Africa’s Western Cape
A statement from Provincial Secretary Ivan Meyer said four farms near Worcester, Malmesbury and Hopefield were infected with the H5 strain of the virus. He has urged the public to remain vigilant and report any signs of infection or unusual death in birds.
“The total number of birds that have been killed or died from HPAI is approximately 134,000. Western Cape Veterinary Services is currently investigating other suspected cases, ”added Meyer.
Collin Steenhuisen of the SA Poultry Association said: “… We have been informed of an outbreak in a broiler breeder farm in the northwest in the past few days. 14,000 broiler breeders were killed and samples were taken for analysis. ”
There are no reports of animal-to-human transmission of the virus and the strains of avian flu identified in South Africa pose a low risk to human health. However, veterinary authorities warn that biosecurity measures need to be enforced as humans carry the virus on their own Can transfer shoes, hands or clothes from sick birds to other birds.
Commenting on the potential risk to the public, Steenhuisen said, “We want to reassure consumers that eggs and broiler meat are safe to consume provided normal cooking processes are followed and temperatures above 60 ° C are used when cooking.”
South African neighbors Namibia, Lesotho, Mozambique and Botswana have suspended imports of poultry to prevent the virus from spreading.