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South Korea has the first avian influenza epidemic on farms this year. 392,000 chickens and ducks have been prevented.

South Korea has the first avian influenza epidemic on farms this year. 392,000 chickens and ducks have been prevented.

South Korea’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Livestock and Food confirmed on the 28th that there was the first bird flu epidemic in South Korea’s farm this year in Jingyi City, North Jeolla Province. The last outbreak of avian influenza in farms in South Korea was about two years and eight months ago.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Animal Products and Food reported that the place of the avian influenza epidemic was a duck farm in Jingyi City. The meat ducks raised by this farm were tested before transportation on the 27th and detected the H5N8 highly pathogenic avian influenza virus.

The duck farm has about 19,000 meat ducks, 6 poultry farms within 3 kilometers, and 60 farms within 3 kilometers to 10 kilometers. After the detection of avian influenza virus, all 19,000 meat ducks were killed.

The government of North Jeolla said on the 28th that 392,000 chickens and ducks within a three-kilometer radius of the duck farm have been precautionaryly slaughtered.

H5N8 avian influenza virus is a highly infectious virus transmitted between birds. Since the first discovery of the H5N8 avian influenza virus in the world in 2014, no human infection has been found.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Livestock and Food said that an emergency response working group had been sent to farms where the epidemic occurred and measures such as restricted exposure and preventive fighting had been taken. This department issued a 48-hour “closure order” to all poultry farms, poultry pens and transport vehicles in South Korea; all poultry farms in Jingyi City will be closed for seven days.

“The area within 10 km of Jingyi duck farm is designated as a special quarantine area,” said a government official of North Jeolla. “Quarantine equipment and helicopters have been deployed there to strengthen the fight against the virus.”

In order to prevent the spread of the epidemic, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Animal Products and Food temporarily banned all traditional vegetable markets in South Korea from trading live chickens and ducks, requiring them to close down every Wednesday to eliminate them. In addition, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Livestock and Food urges all poultry farms in South Korea to strengthen disinfection and take all possible quarantine measures every day.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Livestock and Food announced earlier this month that a suspected avian influenza virus had been detected in four wild bird faeces samples collected in South Korea.

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