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First official case of African swine fever reported in South Korea Updated: 2019-09-18 04:24:58 KST

Following the government's confirmation of the first case of African swine fever in South Korea on Tuesday morning, detected at a farm in Paju near the inter-Korean border, a different pig farm located in Yeoncheon county, near the border with North Korea and about 48 kilometers away from Paju, reported a suspected case of the highly contagious disease.
Inspections are currently underway, and the results are expected to be out as early as Wednesday.

The agriculture ministry previously gave a press briefing at 9 AM to announce that a 48-hour lockdown has been imposed on all pig farms across the nation.

(Korean )
"Immediately after the confirmation of African swine fever, the ministry upgraded the warning to the highest level of severity.
As of 6:30 AM Tuesday, the ministry has placed a 48-hour lockdown on all pig farms in the entire country, and blocked cars from entering the affected area."

While it is speculated that the disease spread from North Korea, authorities are currently working to discover the exact cause of the outbreak.
Almost 4 thousand pigs--including around 2,five hundred pigs from the farm where the fever was detected-- were culled to prevent the virus from spreading.
President Moon Jae-in ordered the thorough management of the situation to prevent the spread of the disease, and Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon also held an emergency meeting at 11AM on Tuesday with related ministers, and gave specific countermeasures to related departments to tackle the issue.

The case comes only four months after North Korea revealed its own outbreak of African swine fever in late May.
African swine fever is a disease highly fatal to pigs, with a near 100 percent mortality rate.
The incubation period in nature is 4 to 19 days, but symptoms generally appear within 7 days.
It's highly contagious in pigs and no vaccine currently exists, but it's important to stress that the disease is harmless to humans.

(Korean )
"African swine fever is known to be harmless to all animals except for pigs and wild boars."

Experts say people can consume the infected meat without it causing any problems.
But the disease has already had an effect on pork prices. According to Korea Institute for Animal Products Quality Evaluation, the average auction price of pork traded at 14 major wholesale markets across the nation had increased by nearly 33 percent at 3 pm Tuesday, compared to the day before.
When African swine fever broke out in China, wiping out a third of the country's pigs, pork prices soared.
Prices in China last month were almost 47 percent higher than they were in August 2018 when the first cases of African swine fever were detected in the country.

Kim Jae-hee, Arirang news.
Reporter : jhee@arirang.com
KOGL : Korea Open Government License
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