CAPE TOWN, (Xinhua) -- The
outbreak of bird flu continued to spread in South Africa, leading to the
disruption of exports of raw meat, eggs and live birds to some trade partners,
authorities said on Wednesday.
pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N8 virus was confirmed in two more
locations in South Africa, bringing the total of affected properties to four,
the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) said in its latest
update on the pandemic.
locations involved commercial layer chickens on farms in Gauteng and Mpumalanga
provinces, the department said.
The two farms
were immediately placed under quarantine by the State Veterinarian as necessary
measures to contain and eliminate the disease as efficiently as possible on both
farms, spokesperson Bomikazi Molapo said.
quarantine includes, as a minimum, a prohibition of the movement of chickens and
chicken products onto and off the farm.
was first reported in June on two farms in Mpumlanga Province, triggering
nationwide concern. South Africa had never reported an outbreak of bird flu
has banned the sale of live chickens due to the outbreak.
The export of
products, which had been processed to ensure destruction of the virus, is
continuing, unless the trade partner has raised an objection, Molapo said.
The HPAI H5N8
virus does not affect humans, and the Department of Health through the National
Institute of Communicable Diseases tested workers from the affected farms and no
human cases have been detected, Molapo said.
surveillance in wild birds, commercial chickens and backyard chickens is
continuing, she said.
owners, farmers and the public should remain vigilant and all cases of high
mortalities in chickens and other birds should be reported to the nearest state
veterinarian, said the spokesperson.
The public is
advised to avoid any gathering of chickens for shows, auctions and similar
activities, Molapo said.
should such activities continue, the organizers are advised to liaise with the
State Veterinary Authorities and the auction houses must also be registered with
the Poultry Disease Management Agency, she added.
The HPAI is a
rapidly spreading viral disease that can infect many types of birds and it is
highly contagious. It exists naturally in many birds and can be transmitted by
coming into contact with infected animals or through ingestion of infected food
or water. No effective treatment for the disease has been found.