Tests of river water near N. Korean border fail to reveal origin of ASF
SEOUL, Sept. 27 (Yonhap) -- A South Korean government laboratory did not detect any African swine fever (ASF) virus in tests of rivers that run along the inter-Korean border, leaving the origin of the deadly animal disease outbreak unknown, officials said Friday.
The National Institute of Environmental Research (NIER), affiliated with the Ministry of Environment, has conducted contamination tests on water from the Imjin River, the Hantan River and the Han River estuary, all close to the North Korean border, but did not defect any ASF virus.
The water samples tested by the NIER were collected from 11 locations of the Imjin River, six locations of the Hantan River and three sites at the Han River estuary for four days from Monday, with the help of the defense ministry, institute officials said.
The massive contamination tests were conducted amid speculation that ASF cases spreading rapidly in northwestern parts of South Korea may have originated via rivers and streams from contaminated wild boars in North Korea.
South Korea has so far confirmed nine ASF cases in Ganghwa Island, 60 kilometers northwest of Seoul, and other areas all close to the inter-Korean border.
With all ASF cases reported in inter-Korean border areas, the NIER plans to conduct additional contamination tests in those regions.
"Beginning Monday, additional water tests will be conducted in three locations of Ganghwa Island and other border river areas," an NIER official said.
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