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(2nd LD) S. Korea confirms another case of highly pathogenic bird flu

All News 20:31 December 22, 2020

(ATTN: RECASTS headline, lead; UPDATES with confirmation in paras 1-4)

SEOUL, Dec. 22 (Yonhap) -- South Korea confirmed another case of highly pathogenic avian influenza (AI) in poultry Tuesday, raising this year's total caseload to 19 amid growing concerns over the disease spreading across the nation.

The new case was found at a chicken farm in Yeoju, 105 kilometers southeast of Seoul, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said. All of the farm's 150,000 chickens were culled as a preventive measure.

The discovery put the nationwide tally of highly pathogenic bird flu cases from poultry farms at 19 since the initial outbreak in late November.

The ministry is currently investigating another suspected case reported from a duck farm in Yongin, just south of Seoul. The farm was raising 6,000 ducks and 90,000 quails.

The virus has spread at a faster pace in South Jeolla Province, which accounted for six infections. Four were from North Jeolla Province.

The country reported this year's first highly pathogenic AI case from wild birds in late October. A total of 33 cases were confirmed from wild bird habitats across the country.

A group of 20 suspected cases among wild birds are also currently under investigation.

South Korea completed culling around 6.1 million poultry, including 4 million chickens and 1.2 million quails.

Under local law, poultry within a 3-km radius of farms infected with highly pathogenic cases must be destroyed.

Quarantine officials block a road to a farm in Eumseong, North Chungcheong Province, on Dec. 8, 2020, due to an outbreak of virulent bird flu there. (Yonhap)

colin@yna.co.kr
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