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News24.com | Bird flu detected in the Eastern Cape

Port Elizabeth – The first case of bird flu in the Eastern Cape has been detected on a farm outside Uitenhage, a poultry producer said on Thursday. 

The case of bird flu was detected during routine testing at Sovereign Foods’ Uitenhage operations, the company said in a statement. 

Sovereign Foods has already culled 5 000 birds, representing approximately 1% of the company’s Uitenhage production pipeline, in an effort to contain the disease. 

Since June, bird flu outbreaks have been confirmed in the Western Cape, Mpumalanga and Gauteng.

Also read: Birds being killed off in their thousands by bird flu, leaving many people jobless

Bird flu, also known as Avian flu or HPAI H5N8, is an infection which commonly spreads among wild aquatic birds and can infect domestic poultry. It normally does not infect people and is treatable.

No case of bird flu has been reported in humans in South Africa since the outbreak of the disease.

Avian flu is primarily spread by direct contact between healthy and infected birds, or through indirect contact with contaminated equipment or other materials, a statement by the department read. 

The virus is present in the faeces of infected birds and in discharges from their noses, mouths and eyes.