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(LEAD) S. Korea reports pigs infected with type-A influenza

All Headlines 17:52 December 14, 2009

(ATTN: RECASTS 2nd para; ADDS other info in last 2 paras)

SEOUL, Dec. 14 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's farm ministry confirmed Monday that pigs in the country have been infected with the type-A influenza virus, marking the first such case involving locally raised swine.

"Infections were confirmed at five pig farms in the Gyeonggi and North Gyeongsang provinces. The movement of pigs in the area was restricted, as the animals were quarantined to stem the spread of the contagious disease," according to Ministry of Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

The announcements marks the first such case reported in South Korea. The ministry also found infections among pigs imported last month from Canada.

The infections come as the spread of the flu virus among people here seems to be slowing after claiming the lives of more than 100 people over the past four months.

Experts do not rule out the possibility that the virus could spread from pigs to people, but they noted that the chances for such a transmission are still very low, dismissing concerns that the swine infection might pose a threat to human health.

kokobj@yna.co.kr
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