One more case of foot-and-mouth in Andong

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One more case of foot-and-mouth in Andong

Another case of foot-and-mouth disease was confirmed at a cattle farm in Seohu, a township in Andong, North Gyeongsang, just 8 kilometers (5 miles) from a case reported on Monday, according to the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

The cattle farm reported that five cows were drooling and had fever and loss of appetite, which led the farm to suspect foot-and-mouth.

After the National Veterinary Research and Quarantine Service conducted an epidemiology study at the farm, it confirmed the presence of the virus.

An official from the quarantine service said, “We cannot rule out the possibility that the FMD virus originated on the cattle farm because the virus appeared in the cows after an incubation period of one or two weeks.”

Two cases of the disease were found at hog farms in the area on Monday.

To prevent the disease from spreading further, 41 cows raised within 500 meters (about 1,600 feet) of the Seohu farm were slaughtered. In addition, the entrance to Seohu is being monitored.

Residents reacted to the news of the outbreak with dismay.

“I was startled by the news and my heart sank,” Lee, a 56-year-old resident said. “Livestock farm owners are restless.”

Other residents in the area worried about the threat to their livelihood.

“Livestock farms in Andong are already knee-deep in trouble,” one Andong resident said. “I am really anxious about whether the livestock industry here is going to collapse.”

On Monday, the National Veterinary Research and Quarantine Service declared the area within a 3-kilometer radius of the infection site as “dangerous.” It also put the area within 10 kilometers of the site on alert and established a control zone within 20 kilometers of the site.

People and animals are prohibited from traveling to 85 places within the 20-kilometer radius.

About 3,100 pigs and cows were buried in Andong yesterday and around 20,000 animals from 132 farmhouses within a 3-kilometer radius of the epicenter are still on call.

Quarantine officials at the Food Ministry are currently in the process of conducting epidemiology studies to discover the source of the infection, tracing the migration patterns of livestock farm owners, migrant workers and veterinarians.

The officials have confirmed that one hog farm owner traveled to Vietnam for five days early last month but said that none of the migrant workers from the infected farms had traveled abroad recently.

Another obstacle to containment may be the appearance of a new type of virus. The O virus is more contagious than the A virus that swept through Gimpo and Gangwha in April. The rate of infection is higher in the former.


By Yoo Sun-young, Choi Hyun-cheol [enational@joongang.co.kr]
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