Suspected Avian flu wipes out over 200 birds along the Namibian coast
Over two hundred wild birds along the coast in Walvis Bay were found dead as a result of a suspected Avian Influenza outbreak, an official said last week Friday.
The Directorate of Veterinary Services in the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform in a statement said, veterinary services in Walvis Bay received a report about a number of dead wild birds specifically Cape Cormorants and Pelicans on Bird Island and in areas around the Salt Company.
“Live sick birds were also observed showing clinical signs such as tremors and shivering, staggering movements and swollen heads. Some sick birds showed signs of tameness and reluctance to flee from humans,” Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr Albertina Shilongo said.
According to Shilongo, samples were collected and sent to Namibia’s Central Veterinary Laboratory for confirmation and the results are pending. The source of the infection is suspected to be due to contact with migratory birds.
Shilongo in the meantime said the public is cautioned not to handle any sick birds or birds that are found dead, specifically warning people not to consume these birds. As a result of the spreading infection, moving of products or moving any live birds, both domestic and wild, from the coastal areas of the Erongo region is prohibited with immediate effect.