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(2nd LD) S. Korea confirms 2nd highly pathogenic bird flu case from farm

All News 13:42 December 02, 2020

(ATTN: ADDS details throughout)
By Kang Yoon-seung

SEOUL, Dec. 2 (Yonhap) -- South Korea on Wednesday confirmed another highly pathogenic avian influenza (AI) case from local poultry farms, sparking further concerns over possible nationwide transmission of the disease.

A suspected case from an egg farm in Sangju, 270 kilometers southeast of Seoul, earlier this week tested to be a highly pathogenic H5N8 strain of bird flu, 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, 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)

Authorities said they have implemented a lockdown on the infected farm, and plan to cull poultry within a 3-kilometer radius.

They also plan to carry out tests on all farms within a 10-kilometer radius.

A transport ban has been imposed on poultry farms and related facilities, as well as their automobiles, in North Gyeongsang Province and Chungcheong Provinces, through Thursday.

South Korea has raised its guard against the disease since late October, when it found highly pathogenic 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 Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said earlier in the day that two additional cases from wild birds were confirmed, in Anseong, 77 kilometers south of Seoul, and Jeongeup in North Jeolla Province, raising the total cases here since October to 12.

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," the ministry said.

colin@yna.co.kr
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