A new case of avian influenza or bird flu has been confirmed in South Korea. The presence was reported in a poultry farm in Seoul, according to the agriculture ministry officials.
The virus was detected four months after South Korea has been declared bird flu-free. The Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency conducted an investigation after the farm reported that dozens of ducks have suddenly died, Tech Times reported.
The reported bird flu strain that infected the ducks was identified as H5N8, which is the same train that was found in November last year. In Incheon, there are 10,900 ducks infected with flu have been slaughtered, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs officials.
The officials have set up control post around the area to address the issue. They also set up a 24-hour emergency monitoring system to keep the bird flu from spreading to neighboring provinces. Jeju Island has stopped accepting poultry and meat products from Incheon, Seoul, and Gyeonggi Province.
The H5N8 is one of the least pathogenic subtypes of Influenza A virus but has increased its pathogenicity in recent times. It was an incubator to H1N1, which is a highly pathogenic subtype of the virus.
Quarantine inspections are being conducted across South Korea to prevent future outbreaks of the bird flu and other animal diseases. In February, authorities have disinfected livestock farms and sterilized passenger cars and farming trucks, as reported by Pulse Headlines.
The United States has been strict in keeping the bird flu from spreading. According to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is working together with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, World Health Organization, World Health Organization for Animal Health and the Food Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in monitoring the bird flu viruses and their effects.
"Although avian influenza A viruses usually do not infect humans, rare cases of human infection with these viruses have been reported. Infected birds shed avian influenza virus in their saliva, mucous and feces." said the CDC.
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