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S. Korea confirms more highly pathogenic bird flu cases

All News 09:00 December 02, 2020

By Kang Yoon-seung

SEOUL, Dec. 2 (Yonhap) -- South Korea on Wednesday confirmed two more cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (AI) in wild birds, further sparking concerns over possible transmission of the disease to poultry farms.

The additional cases were confirmed in Anseong, 77 kilometers south of Seoul, and Jeongeup in North Jeolla Province, raising the total cases here since October to 12, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

On Saturday, South Korea confirmed a highly pathogenic AI case at a duck farm in Jeongeup. It marked the first such case to be reported from a poultry farm since March 2018.

An official sprays disinfectant at a seasonal home for migratory birds in Gwangju, 330 kilometers south of Seoul, on Nov. 30, 2020, in this photo provided by Buk Ward of Gawangju. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Highly pathogenic avian influenza is highly contagious and can cause severe illness and even death in poultry.

"Considering that the country has confirmed 12 highly pathogenic AI cases from wild birds since October, we are in a critical situation," an official from the ministry said.

South Korea has raised its guard against the disease since late October, when it found a highly pathogenic H5N8 strain of bird flu near a creek in Cheonan, 92 km south of Seoul. It was the first confirmed case of avian influenza from wild birds in 32 months.

The country is currently carrying out an investigation into another suspected case at an egg farm in Sangju, 270 kilometers southeast of Seoul


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