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Bird flu suspected in Zimbabwean ostriches

Two ostriches at a farm in Hwange, Matabeleland North, Zimbabwe, are suspected to have contracted a strain of the dangerous bird flu virus. This is the second such case in the country in recent weeks.

Zimbabwean Department of Veterinary Services director, Stuart Hargreaves, could not confirm the bird flu outbreak; however, he could not rule it out. Hargreaves stated that there were similar cases in Victoria Falls and Livingstone, Zambia, where birds have been quarantined.

Farmers, who had identified such symptoms on quarantined ostriches in Zambia during the recent outbreak, have reported the case to the veterinary department who promises to carry out tests to establish what it is.

Hargreaves downplayed the fears, saying the department has intensified efforts to prevent a deadly outbreak, stating that the situation is being monitored and regional exports of ostrich meat, chicken and eggs has been resumed.

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