Popular Joburg dams hit by bird flu virus

web_photo_Bird-flu_141116

File image of poultry is seen in a cage in the Israeli village of Aviel January 3, 2008.

File image of poultry is seen in a cage in the Israeli village of Aviel January 3, 2008.

web_photo_Bird-flu_141116

File image of poultry is seen in a cage in the Israeli village of Aviel January 3, 2008.

File image of poultry is seen in a cage in the Israeli village of Aviel January 3, 2008.

JOHANNESBURG – Bird flu virus has hit the Johannesburg area and 581 bird carcasses have been removed by authorities.

Areas affected include Westdene Dam, Emmarentia Dam and the Johannesburg Zoo.

Jenny Moodley from Joburg City Parks said although the virus poses no threat to human life, necessary security measures had been put in place.

“Joburg City Parks and its facilities have been affected by the global outbreak of avian influenza,” said Moodley.

“This stems from the migration patterns across the various continents of free-roaming birds. The strain we are dealing with, the H5N8, is not contagious or infectious for human beings.

“We have put in the necessary security measures.”

READ: Bird flu spreading as cases reach 3 provinces in SA

Moodley advised residents to exercise the necessary precautions when approaching sick or dead birds by phoning Joburg City Parks on 011-712-6600.

Residents should refrain from touching, feeding or trying to resuscitate birds.

The Johannesburg Zoo will remain open as only two of its vulnerable species have been fatally affected by the virus outbreak.