Infectious Diseases 2004

Infectious Diseases 2004

South Africa: New cases of avian influenza among ostriches

22 September, 2004

A new pocket of avian influenza was discovered among ostriches (4,000) on a farm near Fort Brown - South Africa.
Blood tests on the birds had confirmed the presence of the virus and many of them were showing symptoms of the disease.
The Fort Brown farm had exchanged birds with farms in the area of the original outbreak near Somerset East prior to the quarantine measures and had initially been linked to the first farms by the department’s forward and backward tracing system.
This is the second outbreak of the disease outside of the original 30km radius control zone in the Somerset East district, since the virus was first detected in late July.
Some 2,237 ostriches on two farms in the Salem area south of Grahamstown were culled along with poultry in the area earlier this month when tests identified the virus there. These farms too had exchanged birds and workers with the Somerset East farms.
A total of 16,443 ostriches were culled on 18 farms in the Somerset East control zone. The virus was identified as the H5N2 strain.