North Korea confirms outbreak of avian influenza

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North Korea confirms outbreak of avian influenza

North Korea confirmed an outbreak of avian influenza, or bird flu, in its capital yesterday, and the virus appears to be spreading, the regime’s official news outlet reported.

The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) yesterday cited an Agriculture Ministry official who said that the virus, confirmed to be H5N1, was detected at a poultry farm in Pyongyang and was spreading to other farms in the region.

The outbreak of the highly pathogenic virus has led to the culling of “hundreds of thousands of animals,” the KCNA said, and numerous economic losses.

Local authorities are working to curb the spread of the virus, launching an emergency committee and taking preventive measures, the media agency added.

Traffic control, sanitation and disinfection efforts have continued, it said.

However, despite these measures, the KCNA said that “the disease has not been curbed and continues to spread.”

BY KIM HEE-JIN [heejin@joongang.co.kr]



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