South Korea gets tough on bird flu
South Korea's Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has
reported that it plans to implement a series of tough bird flu measures,
beginning in November, aimed at preventing the virus from hitting the country
The plan involves increased quarantine and monitoring efforts to stop bird
from coming into the country through imports of infected birds.
Imports of poultry and live birds are banned from China and Thailand, where
outbreaks have been reported. Authorities said they will tighten the monitoring
of products from other countries seen as high risk. South
Korea banned all poultry imports from the US
while birds in Michigan
underwent testing for the disease.
Amid increased concerns that the virus could enter via migratory birds that
travel south in the winter season, authorities said they will step up the
monitoring of duck and chicken farms and take immediate action if a case is
If a bird flu case is reported, the government plans to quarantine an area
up to 3 kilometers from the suspected site and destroy all birds that could have
contracted the disease. Movement of birds from the region and the surrounding
area will be forbidden for at least 30 days.
Agricultural quarantine officers will be placed in all international
airports and sea terminals to enforce strict rules on travellers.
From December 2003 to March 2004, the government destroyed 5.3 million
ducks and chickens that could have been affected by the deadly disease, at a
cost of 150 billion South Korean won (125 million euro).
According to the latest World Health Organisation avian influenza statistics
there have been 256 cases of bird flu confirmed in humans, with 151 of these
fatal. While several South Korean patients were tested positive for bird flu
antibodies, no South Koreans have died of the disease, nor reported any
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