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Confirmed and suspected bird flu cases increase ahead of Lunar New Year Updated: 2014-01-28 16:09:54 KST

Despite mass sterilizations on the ground and in the skies, the culling of ducks and chickens in the hundreds of thousands, and movement bans on livestock and farm workers, a rising number of bird flu cases are being reported throughout Korea.
An AI case at a duck farm in Cheonan in the southern Chungcheongnam-do Province was confirmed on Tuesday, prompting authorities to decide to cull over 40-thousand ducks and chickens in a 3-kilometer radius of the affected farm.
A farm in Seocheon, also in Chungcheongnam-do, is also suspected of having been infected with the virus.
And earlier in the day, the first suspected bird flu case in Korea's central Gyeonggi-do Province was reported at a chicken farm in the city of Pyeongtaek.
However the first autopsy results shows, there is a good chance that the ducks were NOT contaminated with the AI virus.
With a growing fear of the bird flu virus spreading across the country just ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday, senior officials are doing their best to prevent further contamination.
Lee Dong-phil , the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said the spread can be halted if everyone works together.

"I ask for your active cooperation in preventive measures during trips to your hometowns this Lunar New Year holiday, even if it's inconvenient."

Minister Lee asked people to avoid visiting poultry farms and migratory bird habitats if possible.
He also requested that stockbreeding farms sterilize their farms and the surrounding areas and immediately report any suspicious cases.
Officials from the government, the ruling Saenuri Party, and the presidential office of Cheong Wa Dae called an emergency meeting on Tuesday to coordinate efforts as they try to stem the spread of the bird flu outbreak that was first detected less than two weeks ago.
Kwon Soa, Arirang News.
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KOGL : Korea Open Government License