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Author Topic: Action Needed as Avian Flu case Rise in Southern Africa  (Read 299 times)

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Action Needed as Avian Flu case Rise in Southern Africa
« on: August 02, 2017, 12:32:55 AM »

The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization has called an emergency meeting this Wednesday in South Africa of all countries in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) following an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). Aid workers are concerned what this could mean for food security in the region, where a fall armyworm invasion and drought have decimated crops in recent years.

The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says besides Zimbabwe, the other countries in the region hit by the avian influenza outbreak are the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Africa.

While officials haven’t released figures for the numbers of birds affected, the FAO said the outbreak is currently concentrated in one province of Zimbabwe and three in South Africa. Earlier this year, the FAO issued a warning to the SADC regional bloc, after the virus was detected in the Lake Victoria area in East Africa.

David Phiri, the head of FAO in Southern Africa, told VOA it is urgent to contain the outbreak.

“Avian influenza is a trans-boundary pest and disease, and it can move from one country to another, from one site to another. So there is a possibility, very easily that it could spread in those particular countries or even beyond the borders. For this reason, we need to control it and to also ensure that there is also prevention measures – both by the countries affected and other countries that have not been affected…."



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