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(LEAD) Additional bird flu case confirmed at duck farm in central S. Korea

All News 19:30 December 30, 2017

(ATTN: ADDS additional confirmed highly pathogenic case in 6th para)

SEOUL, Dec. 30 (Yonhap) -- South Korea has confirmed a fresh case of avian influenza at a duck farm in the southwestern region, the agriculture ministry said Saturday, raising alarms in the major poultry production region already infected with highly pathogenic bird flu.

The H5N6-strain bird flu was detected on a farm with 35,000 ducks in Yeongam, 380 kilometers south of Seoul, while quarantine officials were conducting an inspection in the county, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said.

It was located within 3 kilometers of another farm that reported the outbreak of a highly pathogenic strain on Dec. 19, which was put under restriction of movement of poultry, livestock breeders and equipment.

An in-depth analysis into the virus has been under way to figure out whether it is highly pathogenic, and the inspection result will be released in a couple of days, the ministry said.

Highly pathogenic avian influenza refers to viruses that cause severe disease in birds and result in high death rates.

The bird flu detected at a farm with about 23,000 ducks in Naju and found to be the H5N6 strain on Friday was confirmed to be highly pathogenic, the agriculture ministry said.

South Korea has been stepping up quarantine measures in the southwestern region, including the culling of over 200,000 birds, to prevent the further spread of the highly contagious virus.

Last year, South Korea slaughtered more than 30 million birds to contain the worst outbreak of bird flu in the country's history.

Quarantine officials discard duck eggs from a poultry farm in Yeongam, 380 kilometers south of Seoul, on Dec. 11, 2017, following the outbreak of a highly pathogenic avian influenza. (Yonhap)

ejkim@yna.co.kr
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