KOREA NEWS Korea reports 2 additional avian influenza cases, total now...

Korea reports 2 additional avian influenza cases, total now at 6

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Quarantine officials prepare to disinfect a duck farm in Muan, about 290 kilometers south of Seoul, on Dec. 6, after a highly pathogenic H5 strain of avian influenza was detected there. Yonhap

Korea on Saturday confirmed two additional highly pathogenic avian influenza (AI) cases at chicken farms, the latest in a series of infections nationwide.

One of the cases of the highly pathogenic H5N1 AI strain was found at a poultry farm in the southwestern city of Gimje, which raised around 160,000 chickens, and the other was confirmed at a farm in the western city of Asan, which raised some 30,000 chickens, according to the agriculture ministry.

The latest outbreak brought the total number of AI cases this winter season to six.

The country confirmed the season’s first highly pathogenic avian influenza case last Sunday, which broke out after an eight-month hiatus.

Health authorities cordoned off the farms and implemented quarantine measures, including the culling of chickens there.

They also issued a standstill order for 36 hours through 10 p.m. Sunday, the ministry said.

The government has beefed up measures to curb the infection and detect cases early.

Chickens and ducks at local farms have been subject to more frequent AI tests, and in-depth inspections have been under way into some 430 duck farms nationwide that were deemed prone to the infection.

The finance and agriculture ministries, meanwhile, have vowed to enhance monitoring of market prices of eggs and chicken on concerns about price hikes, though the infection has not affected their supply and prices, officials said. (Yonhap)

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