S. Korea steps up bird flu quarantine measures

South Korea will step up quarantine measures against the bird flu ahead of the long-haul holiday as a suspected case was reported in the country's southern region, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said Wednesday.

Health authorities conduct quarantine operations exercise in Cheongju, 137 kilometers south of Seoul, on Sept. 25, 2017, to protect poultry farms against aviation influenza. (Yonhap)

Health authorities conduct quarantine operations exercise in Cheongju, 137 kilometers south of Seoul, on Sept. 25, 2017, to protect poultry farms against aviation influenza. (Yonhap)

The ministry said an H7N7 strain of aviation influenza (AI) was found in wild bird droppings that were collected in Yeongcheon, located 344 kilometers southeast of Seoul, on Sept. 13.

Following its discovery, health authorities issued a warning that banned local poultry farms from entering wintering grounds of migratory birds and ordered the disinfection of farms adjacent to the site.

The ministry said it will implement strengthened quarantine measures in the coming weeks as many people are expected to take trips around the country during the Chuseok holiday, which runs from Sept. 30 to Oct. 9.

The National Institute of Environmental Research will further look into the dropping sample to figure out whether it is a highly pathogenic virus strain or a more milder version. The results will be announced on Sept. 27, the ministry said.

The World Health Organization catagorizes highly pathogenic AI as a virus strain that results in a high death rate for birds, source from the Yonhap News Agency.


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