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South Africa Scrambles to Stop Outbreak of Avian Flu

Poultry farms in South Africa are battling an outbreak of avian flu, a viral infection that affects wild birds as well as domestic ones. Two different strains, H5N1 and influenza A(H7N6) have have been confirmed in the country by health authorities.

Highly pathogenic avian flu has been plaguing South Africa since September, resulting in over seven million chickens having to be culled.

Strains of the virus have been detected in the Gauteng, Mpumalanga, Limpopo and Free State provinces.

The outbreak has caused a shortage of eggs and chicken in supermarkets.

South Africa’s Department of Agriculture has authorized the importation of eggs and poultry meat to ensure sufficient stocks and to gaurd against shortages.

Authorities have imposed quarantine measures on farms and restricted exports of poultry products.

Avian flu is the latest tragedy to hit South Africa’s agricultural sector which has been struggling with power blackouts and a drought in recent years.

Source: Africa News