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Second Bird Flu Strain Less Virulent

Posted November. 28, 2006 03:22,   


After a virulent strain of bird flu was detected in Iksan, North Jeolla Province, chickens in Seosan, South Chungcheong Province and Yangpyeong, Gyeonggi Province were also found dead soon afterwards. However, this outbreak was confirmed to be a milder form of avian influenza, which has a lower risk than the previous one.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry announced on November 27 that the National Veterinary Research and Quarantine Service conducted an investigation on the mass chicken death in Seosan and confirmed that the strain of bird flu virus discovered was less pathogenic.

In Yangpyeong, a chicken farm owner reported that 800 of his 1,700 chickens have died since November 21. The local government of Gyeonggi Province commissioned the National Veterinary Research and Quarantine Service for an inspection of this farm and found out that low pathogen AI was also the cause for this case. Technically, this low pathogenic bird flu is not classified as avian influenza, as it is non-virulent and not harmful to humans.

At a joint press briefing, Agriculture Minister Park Hong-soo and Health and Welfare Minister Rhyu Si-min asked the public not to be concerned. “Poultry from the questioned areas are not distributed to the market. We also conduct tight sanitary monitoring in any mass culling. You don’t have to feel anxious.”

In the meantime, controversies arose over the cafeteria in Gwacheon Government Complex, which stopped serving food with chicken such as chicken stew and fried chicken from November 27. Civil servants are main customers of this cafeteria.

“We excluded chicken from the menu because even eggs in soybean sauce beef were left over,” a cook at the cafeteria said.