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(2nd LD) S. Korea confirms 2 more cases of highly pathogenic bird flu

22:27 February 18, 2021

(ATTN: CHANGES headline, lead; ADDS info in paras 1-4)
By Kang Yoon-seung

SEOUL, Feb. 18 (Yonhap) -- South Korea confirmed two more cases of highly pathogenic bird flu in poultry Thursday, bringing the total caseload to 99.

The latest cases of the H5N8 strain of avian influenza (AI) came from a duck farm in Goesan, about 160 kilometers south of Seoul, and an egg farm in Hwaseong, about 40 kilometers south of Seoul, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said.

All poultry within a 3-kilometer radius of the infected farms were culled, officials said.

The country has now confirmed a total of 99 cases of highly pathogenic bird flu linked to fowl farms since late November, when it reported the first such case in nearly three years.

Protesters demanding the government end culling of poultry near farms infected with highly pathogenic bird flu stage a demonstration in central Seoul on Feb. 15, 2021. (Yonhap)

Authorities have culled around 28 million poultry to prevent the spread of the disease.

Earlier this week, South Korea decided to ease its intense precautionary measures and cull only poultry within a 1-kilometer radius of infected farms for the next two weeks, compared with the previous guideline of 3 kilometers.

The country will also only destroy the same kind of poultry. The government will decide whether to extend the measure depending on the situation.

The average consumer price of eggs, meanwhile, continued to gather ground, rising 49.7 percent over the past week compared to a year earlier.

Cases from wild birds reached 186 as of Thursday.

A truck applies disinfectants around a poultry farm in Icheon, south of Seoul, on Feb. 15, 2021. (Yonhap)

colin@yna.co.kr
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