SEOUL, Feb. 21 (Yonhap) -- Seven wild boars found dead near the border with North Korea have tested positive for African swine fever, authorities said Friday, bringing the number of such cases to 244 in South Korea.
The carcasses were found in border areas, including in the eastern county of Hwacheon and western city of Paju, according to the National Institute of Environmental Research, which is affiliated with the environment ministry.
Last year, South Korea mobilized hundreds of soldiers and civilians to hunt down wild boars near the border to try to contain the spread of African swine fever.
In May last year, North Korea reported its first outbreak of the disease at a farm near its border with China to the World Organization for Animal Health. It remains unknown how the virus traveled into South Korea.
Separately, South Korea confirmed the 14th case of African swine fever -- the latest one -- at a local pig farm on Oct. 9.
The animal disease does not affect humans but is deadly to pigs. There are currently no vaccines nor cures for the disease.
South Korea, Asia's fourth-biggest consumer of pork, has slaughtered and buried more than 153,000 pigs since Sept. 17 when the country reported the first case of the animal disease at a pig farm in Paju.