Fears that bird-flu at Lüderitz is spreading

Eileen van der Schyff

Eight penguin carcasses were found on Ichaboe-Island off Lüderitz, raising fears that bird-flu (strain H5N8), that killed off scores of penguins on nearby Halifax island, is spreading.

A total of 345 penguin carcasses were recovered from Halifax-Island and surrounding beaches since the start of the H5N8 outbreak in December 2018.
The H5Nh-virus can survive for weeks in wet conditions. Dr. Jessica Kemper, a penguin researcher, said most of the infected birds are from Colony 2 which is on the southern side of Halifax-Island close to a mud hole where adult penguins walk through when coming out of the sea.
Workers of the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources treated the mud hole with salt water to contain the virus and covered it with sand to try and stop the spreading of the virus.
Efforts are continuing to snub the spread of the virus, as fears are for the worst if bird-flu spread mainland where land animals like wildlife are threatened.

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