Same town, another outbreak of bird flu
Another deadly bird flu outbreak was reported in Iksan, North Jeolla province, yesterday, near the spot where the first case was announced last week.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry said yesterday that a poultry farm in the rural town of Iksan was infected by the avian influenza virus, which is highly pathogenic, or very capable of infecting humans.
▶ Quarantine officials take preventative measures yesterday to curb the spread of the highly pathogenic bird flu in Iksan, North Jeolla province. [YONHAP]
“The farm is located about 3 kilometers (1.9 miles) away from the first outbreak location,” the ministry said, noting that the signs of an outbreak appeared Sunday. “The National Veterinary Research Quarantine Service’s test showed that the strain of avian influenza was a highly pathogenic form.”
At least 206 chickens have died since Sunday at the farm, the ministry said. The latent period of the disease is about three days.
The government said an investigation is going on to find out any connection between the two farms that saw an outbreak of bird flu. The Agriculture Ministry said all livestock within a 500-meter radius of the second farm will be slaughtered.
The ministry said it will also quarantine animals in a 3-kilometer radius to stop the disease from spreading. The ministry said it is not ruling out the possibility that the outbreak will spread to greater areas, citing the widespread bird flu outbreaks in Korea in 2003. At the time, 5.3 million poultry were slaughtered over a four-month period in 19 farms in six cities and provinces nationwide.
Since the initial outbreak was confirmed last week, more than 17,000 poultry had been culled by yesterday in the quarantined area. The ministry is working on slaughtering other livestock, including 300 pigs in the zone, by Thursday.
Amid the bird flu outbreak, the price of chicken plunged in Korea, the National Agricultural Cooperative Federation said yesterday. It was 1,239 won ($1.33) per kilogram on Nov. 14. On Monday, the price was 847 won, down 31 percent.
Meanwhile, the Iksan Office of Education said it barred 53 students living near the initial bird flu outbreak farm from going to school. The office said those who live within a 1.5-kilometer radius of the farm were asked not to attend class, but will be allowed to return after disinfection and avian flu vaccinations are completed.
by Kim Dong-ho,Ser Myo-ja