South Korea on Wednesday confirmed the second case of bird flu this year from a local poultry farm, sparking further concerns over possible nationwide transmission of the disease.
A highly pathogenic H5N8 strain of avian influenza (AI) was confirmed from an egg farm in Sangju, around 270 km southeast of Seoul, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
Local authorities said they are currently culling 188,000 chickens being raised at the farm, along with 120,000 quails.
South Korea plans to further slaughter 251,000 chickens within a 3-kilometer radius of the infected farm as well.
The authorities also plan to carry out tests on all farms within a 10-kilometer radius and issue a 30-day movement ban.
The country confirmed this year’s first AI case from a duck farm in Jeongeup, North Jeolla Province on Nov. 28. It was the first such case from a poultry farm since March 2018. Enditem
“Poultry farms nationwide are critically vulnerable to being infected with avian influenza,” Vice Agricultural Minister Lee Jae-ouk said during a briefing.
Highly pathogenic avian influenza is highly contagious and can cause severe illness and even death in poultry.