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S. Korea intensifies quarantine measures against bird flu

December 18, 2014
Local authorities use unmanned helicopters for quarantine activities at a migratory bird sanctuary in Cheonan City, South Chungcheong Province, on Jan. 28, 2014, as a deadly bird flu virus has broken out in nearby areas in recent weeks. (Yonhap)

Local authorities use unmanned helicopters for quarantine activities at a migratory bird sanctuary in Cheonan City, South Chungcheong Province, on Jan. 28, 2014, as a deadly bird flu virus has broken out in nearby areas in recent weeks. (Yonhap)

(Yonhap) — South Korea has intensified its watch against a fresh outbreak of avian influenza (AI) after the animal disease was confirmed in a migratory bird found in the central region of the country, the government said.

A special quarantine area of a 10-kilometer radius has been set up in Jeungpyeong, North Chungcheong Province, where two wild ducks were tested Monday.

“The H5N8 strain of AI has been confirmed in one of the two birds, with the tests now under way to determine whether it is a highly pathogenic strain,” the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said in a press release.

Migratory birds were blamed as a source of the highly contagious H5N8 virus in the last outbreak of bird flu here on Jan. 16. Over 14 million animals had been slaughtered until an end to the outbreak was declared in September, causing billions of dollars in damage.

All poultry farms within the special quarantine area will be required to make daily reports on the condition of their animals. Unauthorized movement of their livestock is also restricted, according to the ministry.

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