WHO says H5N8 bird flu unlikely to affect humans
South African authorities Tuesday confirmed the outbreak of highly contagious H5N8 bird flu at two ostrich farms in the Western Cape province.
“Quarantine has been instituted and the application of disease control measures have commenced,” the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said in a statement.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the virus is highly dangerous in birds but considered unlikely to affect humans.
In June, South African authorities had confirmed a second case of the H5N8 bird flu strain at a layer farm in Standerton in the eastern Mpumalanga province.
Thousands of infected birds were culled at the affected farms to avoid spread of the disease.
The department of agriculture said Tuesday the recently detected cases brought the total number of outbreaks in the country to 16.
They said they have applied for additional funding to deal with the disease control measures, including compensation to farmers.
An announcement of the outbreak by South Africa in June prompted some neighboring countries to temporarily suspend imports of poultry from the country.