Cold and Flu

South Africa: H7N1 bird flu found in ostrich farm

TSEELIM, ISRAEL - OCTOBER 27:  A worker tries to catch 4-month-old ostrich chicks for vaccination against influenza and Newcastle disease at the Van Grevenbroek family farm October 27, 2005 at Tseelim, Southern Israel. The farm, where some 10,000 birds are bred annually and slaughtered at the age of one year for their skin, feathers and meat, is the only one of its kind in Israel that exports almost all of its production to Europe, and is threatened with the loss of its international markets if the H5N1 Avian Flu virus strikes Israel.  (Photo by David Silverman/Getty Images)

TSEELIM, ISRAEL - OCTOBER 27: A worker tries to catch 4-month-old ostrich chicks for vaccination against influenza and Newcastle disease at the Van Grevenbroek family farm October 27, 2005 at Tseelim, Southern Israel. The farm, where some 10,000 birds are bred annually and slaughtered at the age of one year for their skin, feathers and meat, is the only one of its kind in Israel that exports almost all of its production to Europe, and is threatened with the loss of its international markets if the H5N1 Avian Flu virus strikes Israel. (Photo by David Silverman/Getty Images)  (2005 Getty Images)

South African officials say they have detected bird flu on an ostrich farm but that it is unrelated to the strain that has killed eight people in China.

Still, the discovery is another blow for an industry that has lost 40 percent of its 50,000 farmers since the European Union imposed a ban on imports of South African ostrich meat after a 2011 outbreak.

Then, officials killed 50,000 birds infected with the H5N2 strain.

Western Cape agriculture chief Gerrit van Rensburg said Tuesday that officials detected the H7N1 strain near the southwestern town of Oudtshoorn. He said they had quarantined farms in a three-kilometer (two-mile) radius for an intensive epidemiological investigation.

Van Rensburg says the impact of the new outbreak would be clearer once test results come in.