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Gov't seeks emergency vaccine supply for FMD after confirming different type of virus

All Headlines 15:43 February 09, 2017

SEJONG, Feb. 9 (Yonhap) -- Quarantine authorities sought an emergency supply from Britain of a vaccine against foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) Thursday after tests showed the latest outbreak of the disease is from a virus different from prior cases.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said the virus confirmed from cattle at a farm in Yeoncheon, 62 kilometers north of Seoul, was confirmed to be type A. Two previous cases discovered in the southern provinces of the country were of type O. Seven different kinds of viruses are known to cause FMD. The only time that the type A virus was found during eight previous outbreaks since 2000 in South Korea was in 2010.

The government's vaccine stock is mostly for type O, which had been administered in affected regions after the latest outbreak this year. Officials said they do not yet know whether the type O vaccine is effective for other viruses and is waiting for test results on the match rate. South Korea has vaccines for the type O+A virus but only for about 1.9 million cows, not enough for the 2.8 million cows that require it, officials said.

The emergency supply request has been sent to a British company for more stock and will take about one week for arrival, they said.

"We do not have much information about the type A virus because its outbreak back in 2010 was before we started implementing vaccinations," Kim Kyung-kyu, head of the ministry's food industry policy office, said in a briefing. "It would be best if the O+A vaccine that we have shows a high matching rate with the type A virus and has immediate effect, but we now are waiting for the test results."

Quarantine officials said they are also discussing how the two different kinds of viruses showed up nearly simultaneously. In 2010, the two types were discovered with a four-month break in between. How type A reached South Korea is also still being investigated, they said, in addition to tracking down the source of the virus.

"Coincidentally, all of the owners and the families of the affected farms have a record of having traveled overseas," said Park Bong-kyun, head of the Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency. "But the time of the travel was in November, so it's difficult to draw direct connections. We are expanding our epidemiological survey."

Gov't seeks emergency vaccine supply for FMD after confirming different type of virus - 1


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