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Infectious avian flu strain hits the Western Cape

The H5N1 bird flu outbreak that was first detected in South Africa in April on a farm in the West Rand, Johannesburg, is now threatening the great white pelican population in the Western Cape. The virus has already killed 40 of these birds, according to government agency CapeNature.

The flu was detected in birds on a farm north of Malmesbury, as well as on Dassen Island.  

On Tuesday, the organisation said it was monitoring and taking action to respond to the H5N1 strain, which is highly pathogenic.

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Chris Gilili
Chris Gilili is a climate and environmental journalist at the Mail & Guardian’s environmental unit, covering socioeconomic issues and general news. Previously, he was a fellow at amaBhungane, the centre for investigative journalism.

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