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SAT, 2014-10-25  KST

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Bird flu concerns grow in Korea as new suspected cases emerge

Updated: 2014-01-22 07:43:16 KST
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The quarantine measures have been taken up a notch.
Three days have passed since the first confirmed case of the highly pathogenic H5N8 bird flu strain was found here in southern Korea.


"The infected farms are [still] blocked off like this. This means no one can come in. And no one can get out."

And it doesn't appear as though the quarantine measures will be eased anytime soon.

[ ]
: "You cannot come any closer "

: "There are areas we cannot disinfect because of the birds' droppings.
There's a water reservoir right over there, so there are a lot of birds flying in this area.
The bird flu could spread from their feces that gets onto car tires or shoes."

Here in Jeollabuk-do Province about 300 kilometers south of Seoul
every vehicle entering and exiting the area is sterilized.
As of Tuesday FOUR duck farms have been confirmed as having been infected by the H5N8 virus.
Two in Gochang-gun, and two in Buan-gun.

But with a new suspected case emerging on Tuesday the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs has now ordered that ducks within a 3-kilometer radius of an infected farm be slaughtered as a preventive measure.
This has been expanded from the previous 500-meter radius.
The government says farmers will be compensated 80 to a hundred-percent for their losses.
But farmers aren't the only ones affected by the latest case of avian influenza.


"None of the customers are asking for the duck and chicken dishes, even though I explain to them that cooked meat is fine."

This restaurant has seen its number of customers cut in half since the AI outbreak.


"This time is worst than the last bird flu scare we had. My restaurant was affected last time, but this time because the virus was found in my neighborhood, less people are coming to eat here."

Korea has had four bird flu outbreaks since 2003. The last time was in 2011 when over 6- million birds were killed.
Connie Lee, Arirang News.



Reporter : connie@arirang.co.kr

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