Avian flu strikes new site in South Korea

Jan 13, 2003 (CIDRAP News) – Highly pathogenic avian influenza has popped up at another farm in South Korea, this one widely separated from the site where the last cases were found 9 days ago, according to Korean newspaper reports.

The disease killed 9,000 chickens between Jan 9 and 12 at a farm 15 kilometers north of Pusan, the country's second largest city, on the southeast coast, according to a report by the Korea Herald. After the disease was identified, the remaining 9,000 chickens at the farm were destroyed yesterday to contain the outbreak, the report said.

The farm was the 16th to be struck by the disease since the outbreak began in mid-December. Health officials thought they had the outbreak under control at the end of December, but more cases were reported Jan 4 at a duck farm in South Chungchong Province in the west-central part of the country.

About 1.8 million chickens, ducks, and quail have been sacrificed in the containment effort, according to the Herald.

The virus blamed for the outbreak, influenza A(H5N1), is the same subtype cited in current avian flu outbreaks in South Vietnam and Japan. The World Health Organization said today that the virus had infected humans in Vietnam, causing at least three cases of severe respiratory illness.

An online report by the Korea Times today said that more than 40 poultry farms with a total of 930,000 ducks and chickens are located within 3 kilometers of the newly infected farm.

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