Posted December. 31, 2010 10:06,
Suspected cases of bird flu were reported Thursday in Cheonan, North Chungcheong Province, and Iksan, North Jeolla Province.
If the symptoms detected are found to be those of the highly pathogenic strain of avian influenza as suspected by the government, Korea could face an unprecedented situation of being hit by foot and mouth disease and bird flu at the same time.
The Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry said close inspections of a duck farm in Cheonan and a chicken farm in Iksan are underway. Ducks and chickens in the farms showed symptoms of bird flu such as reduced spawning rates and feed intake and cyanosis in the comb.
The final results of the inspections will come out Friday, but the poultry of the affected farms and epidemiologically related farms were culled as a preventive measure the same day.
A ministry official said, The reported suspected cases are highly likely to involve a highly pathogenic strain of bird flu, adding, We pay special attention to the fact that more than 500 chickens died at the Iksan farm.
In Iksan, a highly pathogenic strain of bird flu was detected from mallard feces early this month.