Korean officials work to contain the spread of avian influenza.
In an effort to stop the spread of bird flu, discovered in ducks on a poultry farm near Seoul, South Korean authorities are slaughtering thousands of the suspected infected ducks, just a month after the nation declared itself free of the disease.
The strain is the same as the one found back in November of last year, H5N8, that stopped the exporting of ducks from South Korea to Hong Kong. The country had just re-started the exporting of the ducks, and this new development will surely cause a massive blow to the industry.
A total of 11,604 ducks were killed at the farm, located in Icheon, a city east of Seoul. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says the avian influenza of sub-type H5N8 was introduced into Korea back in 2014, likely from wild birds. It didn’t take long for the virus to spread to other farms.
Related viruses have been detected in parts of China, but except for one isolated case in Germany, it seems to be contained in eastern Asia.
Avian flu is not the only disease plaguing the area. According to report on Reuters, there was an outbreak of foot and mouth disease that ravaged the pig farming industry back in January of this year.
According to the CDC, the only way to stop the spread of the disease it to be very aggressive in attacking the infection. Unfortunately, that include the slaughter of all birds with the disease, and all those in close quarters with other infected birds.
The CDC study, which examined the outbreak in Germany and found the infection originated in East Asia, said, “Epidemiologic investigations revealed no definite route of introduction of the virus but have excluded incursion by infected turkey eggs or poults; contaminated water, feed, or litter; and vehicles or persons having contact with infected premises in South Korea or East Asia. Introduction by infected wild birds, perhaps facilitated by contaminated litter, feed, water, fomites, or other substance cannot be excluded because an internationally recognized site frequented by wild birds is near the affected turkey farm.”