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Avian influenza devastates Etsha 13

About 6000 chickens die from the flu

An outbreak of avian influenza has been reported in Etsha 13 in the North West District a week after another outbreak in the far southern part of the country,the Kgatleng District was reported.

Making a spot announcement at the ongoing full council meeting in Maun this week, Dr Tshenolo Pebe of veterinary services said the disease is highy contagious and can easily be passed on to humans and cause symptoms very similar to those of COVID-19 infections.

“We have therefore banned the movement of chickens from Etsha 13 while we investigate the disease,”

He added that although they are still investigating the outbreak, the disease has already spread so much in the area that it has killed close to 6000 broilers and free range chickens.

“Four thousand, five hundred broilers have been killed by this disease while 1 475 backyard chickens have also died from it,” explained Pebe before adding that in total 75 farmers have been affected.

The virus, he added is potentially spread by wild birds as well.

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“The chickens and birds can spread the infection and that is why we are encouraging people to avoid moving or travelling with them.”

The animal doctor suspects that the virus was brought in by wild birds.

Botswana is the second southern African country to report the outbreak of this virus after South Africa which was grappling with the outbreak early this year.

As a result some countries including Botswana, Mozambique, Lesotho and Namibia have banned import of chicken products from the neighbouring country.

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