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S. Korea investigating 12 suspected cases of highly pathogenic bird flu

All News 20:48 December 06, 2020

SEOUL, Dec. 6 (Yonhap) -- South Korea is looking into more than 10 cases of suspected highly pathogenic avian influenza (AI) from wild birds, the environment ministry said Sunday, amid growing concerns over the disease spreading to local poultry farms.

The country is studying 12 samples gathered from major wild bird habitats since last week, according to the Ministry of Environment. It takes a few days to find out whether they are highly pathogenic.

South Korea reported its first highly pathogenic AI case in 32 months in late October from Cheonan, 92 kilometers south of Seoul.

A quarantine official prepares to cull ducks from a poultry farm in Yeongam, 308 kilometers south of Seoul, on Dec. 5, 2020, after it reported a highly pathogenic avian influenza case. (Yonhap)

Since then, the country has confirmed 15 cases from wild birds.

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

Local authorities have been raising their guard against AI to prevent the virus from spreading to local poultry farms.

On Saturday, South Korea confirmed another case of highly pathogenic AI at a duck farm in Yeongam, South Jeolla Province, 308 km south of Seoul. It marked the third highly pathogenic AI case reported at a poultry house this year.

colin@yna.co.kr
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