Bird flu case reported in the Rustenburg area

There has been an outbreak of High Pathogenic Avian Influenza (H5N8) or Bird Flu in domesticated wild birds in Rustenburg, around the Bo-dorp residential area. The outbreak involves wild ducks and about 60 other animals involving canaries, swan and parrots are in the vicinity of immediate risk. A media report was released on the 30th of august to warn the public about this outbreak. The disease was detected after deaths of ducks that were kept domestically in a homestead. The ducks had since been sent to the laboratory for
further testing by a private Veterinarian. The birds are kept for recreational purposes and are privately owned. A dedicated team from the Department of Rural, Environment and Agricultural. Development (READ) has been set aside to deal with the infected household to avoid spreading the of the disease. A different team of officials has also been deployed to
collect information using Community Policing Forum communication network. This surveillance has started already. An area of 1km from the index point has been demarcated as a zone for surveillance The household affected has been put under quarantine and the terms explained to the owner. The owner was also advised on bio-security measures that were to be taken to prevent spreading of the virus to neighboring houses by humans and also by faeces of affected birds. They have also been advised to secure their bird nets to prevent wild birds from entering them. The Department has assisted the affected family with an effective disinfectant that kills
the virus to be able to disinfect their property and the tools they will be using to clean bird cages and collect faeces. The big trading facilities identified in Rustenburg are all outside a seven kilometers radius from the outbreak index point and all of them have been
officially informed of the outbreak and therefore asked to take additional precautionary bio-security measures. The outbreak has not affected trade in a negative way since all facilities that trade with poultry and poultry products are outside a seven kilometers radius of the outbreak, and have also been asked to upgrade their bio-security measures. The Department has communicated this outbreak to all affected stakeholders including Veterinarians
and farmers and the Provincial Disaster Management Committee has been put on high alert about the situation. The Department would also like to advise the local community to cover their bird feed and water to avoid attracting wild bird to them. The community at large is requested to report any mortality of birds that is noticed to the nearest State Veterinary office.