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Bird flu outbreak is almost under control: S.Korea

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Seoul:  South Korea authorities on Tuesday said that the latest bird flu outbreak that has forced the culling of more than 30 million chicken and other poultry nationwide since November is almost under control.

“The daily number of cases suspected of bird flu has dropped to one or two, indicating that the contagion is almost under control,” Acting President and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn said in a news conference in Seoul.

The acting president, however, cautioned that control measures should continue to be strengthened as the infection “has yet to end”, Efe news reported.

“To end AI (avian influenza), we have to continue our pre-emptive and thorough quarantine activities such as strengthening monitoring, complying with quarantine rules, thoroughly checking (affected areas) and so on,” he said.

Hwang also urged the country’s health authorities to be alert to the possibility of additional outbreaks caused by migratory birds.

Since the acting president ordered an intensive campaign to deal with the contagion a week ago, authorities have culled all poultry from farms located in bird flu-contaminated areas and strengthened quarantine and sterilisation measures in farms and other facilities across the country.

This has resulted in the slaughter of more than 30 million chickens and other birds throughout the country since the first case of the highly pathogenic H5N6 virus was detected on 16 Nov.

It is South Korea’s largest bird flu outbreak since 2014, when more than 14 million birds were killed.

IANS

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