Migratory ducks found dead north of original AI infection siteUpdated: 2014-01-24 PM 7:54:31 (KST)
As flocks of migratory birds make their way around Korea this winter, it seems they are both the carriers and the victims of the latest bird flu outbreak.
On Friday, local officials announced that more ducks had been found dead in a city closer to Seoul, in the central province of Chungcheongnam-do.
And.. further south in the nation's port city of Busan, officials are testing to see if a group of dead birds found there also tests positive for the latest H5N8 strain of bird flu.
As the birds' exact cause of death is being determined, officials have confirmed that still another group of ducks found dead in a river in Chungcheongnam-do Province was infected with the H5N8 strain of the AI virus.
This is the first confirmation that AI has spread to other regions in the country.
The ducks found in the Geumgang River in Seocheon-gun County were found about 50 kilometers north of Gochang-gun County in Jeollabuk-do Province -- the area where the bird flu outbreak started.
To prevent the virus from spreading any further, local officials in Chungcheongnam-do have expanded the quarantine, banning the movement of farm workers and equipment within a 10-kilometer radius of the infected area.
But these efforts may not be enough.
Korea's Ministry of Environment says there are currently about 360-thousand migratory birds in the southern and central parts of Korea, which is likely to make containment more difficult than anticipated.
So far a total of nine farms have now been confirmed to be infected with the H5N8 strain of bird flu.
Connie Lee, Arirang News.
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