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Mossel Bay Avian Influenza outbreak under control 1

18 July 2006

Following the detection of the H5N2 strain of Avian Influenza north-west of Mossel Bay in the Western Cape, surveillance procedures have been carried out within a twenty kilometre radius around infected properties. It is important to note that the inspections and laboratory tests have revealed that the outbreak has remained limited to a couple of adjacent properties. The virus has been classified as type H5N2 which is not known to infect humans unlike the H5N1 virus that has caused disease in humans in Asia, Europe and North Africa.

Good progress has been made in following the required steps necessary to eliminate with the disease from infected properties. One of these is suspension of the export of ostrich meat from the Mossel Bay and Riversdale districts.

The temporary ban on all movements of ostriches and all types of domesticated poultry through, within, into and out of the affected area remains in place. The area referred to is situated between the N2 national road in the south and the Langeberg mountain range in the north. The R323 between the N2 at Riversdale and the Garcia Pass and the R328 between the N2 at Hartenbos and the Robinson Pass form the boundaries of the area in the west and east respectively.

Although the roads mentioned above form the geographical boundaries of the area they do not form part of the quarantined area. Movement of ostriches and poultry along these roads may take place on condition that the movements do not originate or terminate in the area defined above.

The full cooperation of all role players, including the ostrich industry, has ensured that the outbreak remained confined to a very limited area.

It must be emphasised that the virus does not affect humans in any way and that all commercially available South African ostrich and poultry products are safe for human consumption.

Source: Department of Agriculture

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