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MON, 2014-11-24  KST

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Stricter measures enforced to contain bird flu in Korea
Updated: 2014-01-22 09:48:47 KST

We start with the latest on the bird flu crisis here in Korea
Nearly 300-thousand ducks and chickens have been culled so far all in Korea's southwestern Jeollabuk-do Province.
So far.. the number of confirmed bird flu cases stands at EIGHT.
Facing the unenviable task of trying to contain the highly pathogenic H5N8 strain, quarantine officials have been working around the clock and have reinforced stricter measures.
For more, we are going to connect LIVE to Connie Lee who is out on the field in Jeollabukdo-Province.
Connie, what is the situation like there?


If you come to this area about 300 kilometers south of Seoul you'll see a lot of quarantine officials in their full gear and a lot of barricades like this one.
As you can see, I'm standing in front of a "DO NOT ENTER" sign and some "safety lines" that have been put up about 100 meters away from a farm that is suspected of being infected with this latest bird flu outbreak.
Now this is just one of many barriers placed around suspected areas here in Jeollabuk-do Province
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where health officials are working around the clock.. despite the cold and the heavy snow that fell yesterday.
All vehicles are being sterilized in this area and reservoirs are being disinfected.
Safety measures have been intensified,, with the government now ordering even more ducks to be culled.
Up until yesterday, the government had ordered that all ducks within a 500-meter radius of an infected farm be slaughtered but that limit now stands at three kilometers -- so much wider now.
I was here when that mandate fell and within a few hours my crew and I saw quarantine officials and tractors going into different farms to start destroying the birds.
With the expanded limit, officials expect an additional 135-thousand ducks to be killed in this area.


This new order comes as there are reports of new cases in the area, correct?


Yes, there are suspected cases popping up all around this area suggesting the migratory birds, which were first found to be infected with the H5N8 strain could be spreading the virus around the country.
Officials are trying to track the birds and are disinfecting areas where they are likely to land.
There are no cases of the H5N8 strain infecting humans and officials are keen to stress that the people who normally get infected with bird flu are the ones who directly or indirectly come in contact with a sick bird.. or its feces.
So accordingly, health officials have put all farmers in the nation on high alert.
You-sun, Mark.


Thanks for your report, Connie.
That was our Connie Lee reporting from Korea's southwestern Jeollabuk-do Province on the latest developments in the bird flu crisis that looks to be spreading despite the best efforts of quarantine officials.

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