Bird Flu In Korea Ducks: Flu Hits South Korean Ducks
Bird flu has been found in ducks in South Korea again. South Korean officials have confirmed that the strain of bird flu known as H5N8, which decimated the duck population at a farm last fall, has returned and struck a poultry farm near the city of Seoul.
Bird flu discovered in ducks in South Korea has officials scrambling for answers. This week, officials from the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs informed the public that they are working hard to contain another possible bird flu epidemic.
According to officials, the strain of avian influenza known as H5N8 was found in ducks on a farm in the northwestern city of Icheon, near Seoul. The farm has been under quarantine to prevent the virus from spreading.
The discovery has prompted the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs to ban the transport of poultry and eggs from all poultry farms in Gyeonggi Province. The order will be effective through April 2.
The Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency, which is investigating the matter, said more than 11,000 ducks have been decimated, and added:
“The city has also set up two disease control posts in the area and is spraying disinfectant on vehicles entering and leaving the area. An emergency monitoring system will run 24 hours daily until it is determined that there is no likelihood of the virus spreading.”
The government said it is the same strain as the one that contaminated thousands of ducks at the farm in November 2015 – back then more than 11,500 ducks and ducklings were killed after falling ill.
The respiratory disease dealt an economic blow to the country, which was forced to stop exporting poultry to Hong Kong. However, it is not just bird flu that seems to plague South Korea, earlier this year, there was a confirmation of an outbreak of mouth and foot disease in pigs. In January, more than 250 sick pigs were slaughtered.
Many believe that the bird flu subtype H5N8 was introduced into South Korea in 2014 likely through wild birds.