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Virulent AI Strain Discovered in Iksan Again

Posted November. 29, 2006 06:44,   


Another case of highly pathogenic avian influenza (AI) has been discovered eight days after the first case in Iksan, North Jeolla Province, at a farm close to the initial outbreak.

The government expected that the AI would not spread further due to meticulous quarantine measures, but experts worry that this incident may foretell further outbreaks.

After reports were received by the Ministry of Agriculture on November 27 that mass deaths may have resulted from AI at a poultry farm in Hwangdeung-myeon, Iksan, the National Veterinary Research & Quarantine Service launched investigations and reported on November 28 that the chickens were contaminated with the highly pathogenic AI strain.

The farm is approximately 3km away from the farm where the initial outbreak of November 19 occurred, and contains 12,000 chickens. Six chickens were found dead on November 26, with an additional 200 on November 27 and 400 on November 28.

Kim Chang-sup, head of the livestock quarantine section of the Ministry of Agriculture, said, “It is highly likely that this AI virus is similar to the previous incident, ‘H5N1’”, and added, “We are investigating how the two farms with virulent AI incidents are related.”

The government will dispose of all poultry including chickens and ducks within a 3km radius of the two farms to prevent the spread of the AI virus.

Within a 3km radius of the first farm are 170,000 chickens and ducks, and an additional 700,000 chickens are near the second farm.

The Iksan Office of Education ordered the 57 students of the five schools located within 1.5km of the farm where the highly pathogenic AI strain was first discovered, including Hamyeol Middle School and Hamyeol High School, to return home to be quarantined.