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HPAI Continues in South Africa


Six cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza were recently diagnosed in the Republic of South Africa.  An August 30th report submitted to the World Organization for Animal Health noted that the cases were attributed to an H7 strain.


The report did not identify the type of birds, but the area to the east of the major Johannesburg metropolitan complex includes both broiler and egg production farms.  The largest flock contained 90,000 birds and the smallest 38,000 with a total approaching 240,000.


It remains to be seen whether the H7 isolate will become endemic in the Republic of South Africa and over time will spread northward to neighboring and sub-Saharan nations.  Surveillance of free-living waterfowl should be conducted to ascertain whether this H7 strain is carried by migratory birds since there is the possibility of transmission to North Africa, Mediterranean nations and the Middle East.