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S. Korea confirms 9 more swine farms affected by new flu

All Headlines 13:40 December 16, 2009

SEOUL, Dec. 16 (Yonhap) -- South Korea confirmed Wednesday pigs at a further nine swine farms have contracted the type-A influenza virus, indicating that the pace of contagion among the animals is picking up here.

South Korea has been on high alert since the disease was detected among its people in May. Health experts do not rule out the possibility that the highly infectious virus could spread from pigs to humans, but they note that such chances are very low.

The Ministry of Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said that it has confirmed infections among pigs in nine additional swine-raising farms. This is in addition to five farms where pigs were reported earlier this week to have contracted the contagious diseases, the first such case here in South Korea.

The ministry said that infected animals have been quarantined to stem the spread of the disease but added that it has no plan to slaughter them as symptoms are not serious and there is little chances that it could spread to humans.

The report comes as the spread of the H1N1 flu virus among people here seems to be slowing after claiming the lives of more than 100 people over the past four months.

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