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Avian influenza confirmed in South African commercial chicken farm

Christian Fernsby |
South Africa has detected avian influenza (AI) outbreak at a commercial chicken farm in Randfontein in Gauteng, bringing the number of outbreaks to five.

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"Preceding this outbreak, four outbreaks were detected on other commercial chicken properties. A total of five HPAI H5N1 (Asian highly pathogenic avian influenza) outbreaks, four in Gauteng and one outbreak in North West. All affected farms have been quarantined, with control measures being implemented," said the DALRRD in a statement on Thursday.

"Genetic evaluation has confirmed that the outbreak reported in commercial layers on 13 of April in Gauteng and the one on commercial broiler-breeders in the North West seems to have been caused by non-identical AI strains.

"These two outbreaks were therefore more likely to have been caused by separate introductions. It is essential for everyone across the country to remain on high alert," said DALRRD spokesperson Reggie Ngcobo.

He stated that people should report all increases in chicken deaths to the state veterinarian officials. However, they should not be worried since the zoonotic risk to people is very low.

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