Bird flu detected in Joburg, but don't panic say officials

5th October 2017 By: News24Wire

Bird flu detected in Joburg, but don't panic say officials

Photo by: Reuters

The City of Johannesburg has said the strain of bird flu that has been picked up in the city is not contagious to humans.

Despite having recovered over 580 carcasses and a further 243 chicks having been incinerated, the city said there weren't any concerns for humans.

There has been evidence in various parts of the city including around Westdene Dam, Emmarentia Dam, Zoo Lake and the Joburg Zoo that some birds had been infected with the flu.

"There is no cause for concern regarding the spread of the disease to citizens, however, as per the city's standard cautionary advice, residents are urged to take the necessary precautions," said Jenny Moodley, spokesperson for Johannesburg City Parks and Zoos.

Moodley said some of the precautions include not handling or making contact with sick or dead birds, not attempting to feed wild birds and resuscitate sick birds, and ensure all poultry produce is properly cooked.

On Wednesday, News24 reported on the devastating impact bird flu has had on a family business in the Western Cape, while other businesses in the province had to cull hundreds of thousands of hens in an effort to halt the spread of the virus.

The impact of the outbreak of bird flu has seen one farmer losing 70% of his flock.

Poultry farmers in the Eastern Cape saw the first signs of an outbreak of the bird flu virus in September, while Gauteng, Mpumalanga and the Western Cape had already confirmed cases since June.