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(3rd LD) S. Korea confirms 8th case of highly pathogenic bird flu in poultry

All News 22:02 December 10, 2020

(ATTN: RECASTS headline, lead with new case; ADDS more details in paras 2-5)
By Kang Yoon-seung

SEOUL, Dec. 10 (Yonhap) -- South Korea confirmed another case of highly pathogenic bird flu in poultry on Thursday, amid growing concerns over the disease's nationwide spread despite tougher measures.

Avian influenza (AI) of H5N8 strain was found from samples collected from a duck slaughterhouse in Naju, 355 kilometers south of Seoul, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

It marked the country's eighth highly pathogenic AI case in domestic birds this year, and the third such case in South Jeolla Province.

The authorities destroyed around 44,000 ducks at the slaughterhouse, all of which came from a single farm, officials said.

The farm is not currently raising any poultry and investigation is under way into exact infection routes, they added.

Quarantine officials disinfects a farm in Naju, 355 kilometers south of Seoul, on Dec. 10, 2020, to prevent the spread of bird flu, in this photo provided by a reader. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Earlier in the day, a separate suspected case was identified from a duck farm in Jangseong in the same province, about 310 kilometers south of Seoul.

There were also infection cases from North Chungcheong, North Gyeongsang and North Jeolla provinces.

South Korea completed the culling of more than 4 million poultry from affected farms late Wednesday, covering 2.42 million chickens, 1.01 million quails and 572,000 ducks.

Authorities cull poultry within a 3-km radius of infected farms. Birds at farms with suspected cases are also destroyed.

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

The country reported its first highly pathogenic case in 32 months in late October in Cheonan, 92 kilometers south of Seoul, from wild birds.

Since then, a total of 22 cases have been found from wild bird habitats across the country, according to the latest data provided by the ministry. Health authorities are investigating more than 10 suspected cases among wild birds.

Quarantine officials prepare to cull ducks at a farm in Naju, 355 kilometers south of Seoul, on Dec. 8, 2020. (Yonhap)

colin@yna.co.kr
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