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(3rd LD) S. Korea investigating new suspected case of avian influenza

All Headlines 22:23 June 03, 2017

(ATTN: ADDS more info in last 2 paras, photo)

SEOUL, June 3 (Yonhap) -- South Korea said Saturday it is looking into a new possible case of avian influenza, marking the first suspected case in about two months.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said it received a new report of suspected avian influenza from a tiny poultry farm on the southern island of Jeju.

Eight chickens were found dead at the farm and tested positive for the H5N8 subtype, the ministry said, citing the results of an initial test. The H5 subtype is considered highly pathogenic.

Of the eight chickens, five were purchased at a traditional market in Jeju on May 27 and found dead two days later. The remaining three were found dead on Friday.

The farm's owner has raised a small number of chickens for personal consumption.

More detailed results will be available next Monday, it said.

In a precautionary measure, a movement ban was put in place near the affected area, the ministry said. It also raised its avian influenza alert status to "caution."

On Saturday afternoon, the ministry also held an emergency meeting with relevant government officials to step up quarantine efforts near the affected area.

From Monday, the government will ban all traditional markets and restaurants in the country from trading live chickens.

Some 30,000 chickens from eight farms have been culled so far.

Health authorities in Gunsan, North Jeolla Province on June 3, 2017, quarantine a chicken farm after a suspected case of avian influenza was reported. (Yonhap)


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