Local avian vet 'predicted' recent outbreak

Vet Deon de Beer says he knew last year that birds were becoming more susceptible to serious viruses such as this one.

Picture: freeimages.com.

JOHANNESBURG – An avian veterinarian says he had predicted the recent outbreak of avian influenza based on the birds he had been treating.

H5N8 bird flu has affected South African poultry with thousands of birds being culled as a result.

Three cases of the virus have been reported on two farms in Mpumalanga and one in the Free State.

It’s understood humans aren't able to catch this strain of bird flu if it remains in its current biological form.

Vet Deon de Beer says he knew last year that birds were becoming more susceptible to serious viruses such as this one.

“What happened is that our population was extremely susceptible for any challenge from any pathogen that would have come into South Africa.”