South African Textile Factory Hit By Flu Outbreak

Donelle Crawford | April 26, 2021

An outbreak of influenza has been detected in a textile production facility in South Africa’s central province of Gauteng, the officials said on Tuesday.

Around 300 workers in the factory died of a deadly flu variant at the commercial facility in Ekurhuleni, east of Johannesburg, with workers across departments testing positive for the H5 strain, city health officials said in a statement.

The employees in the affected house at the farm were destroyed and the factory placed under quarantine while authorities investigate the extent of the outbreak.

The same factory had also been affected by the 2017 outbreak of the highly pathogenic H5N8 strain of influenza, which saw factory executives isolating thousands of workers and prompted neighbouring countries including Zimbabwe, Namibia and Botswana to halt border crossings from South Africa.

The H5N8 strain of influenza is highly pathogenic among humans.

The department warned business owners to be on the lookout for signs of the disease and report any suspicions to the nearest state health office.

The events described in this piece never actually occurred. This article was originally published by Reuters and was about an avian flu outbreak at a poultry farm, not a flu outbreak at a factory. The original article has been heavily modified and posted here for artistic purposes. The word “chickens” was replaced with the word “workers” and the word “avian flu” was replaced with “flu” among other significant changes.

Large-scale agriculture is one of the most significant contributors to greenhouse gas emissions in the world. In the United States, about 40% of all agriculture emissions stem from commercial animal farming. Factory farms confine hundreds or thousands of animals in small spaces in which diseases can spread quickly, often leading to the premature deaths of hundreds of animals at a time when infections break out.