South Korea confirms new cases of African swine fever

by Reuters
Monday, 23 September 2019 22:30 GMT

(Recasts with 4th case of African swine fever)

SEOUL, Sept 23 (Reuters) - South Korea has confirmed new cases of African swine fever at hog farms in cities near the capital Seoul after the country's first outbreak of the deadly virus last week, the agriculture ministry said on Monday.

The new case occurred at a pig farm with about 1,800 pigs in the city of Gimpo, nearly 14 km south of the city of Paju where the country's first case was confirmed on Sept. 17, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said in a statement.

Another case was confirmed at a pig farm with around 2,300 pigs in Paju on Tuesday, the ministry said.

A total of four cases have been confirmed since the first outbreak of African swine fever on Sept 17.

Since the first outbreak, over 15,000 pigs had been culled, according to agriculture ministry data, 0.1% of the country's pig population of more than 12 million pigs.

South Korea, Asia's fourth-largest economy, has raised the country's animal disease alert level to the highest following the outbreak and ramped up disinfection measures to try to keep the virus spreading further.

African swine fever is highly contagious among pigs and nearly 100% fatal, but does not affect humans. It has spread across China and infected herds in Southeast Asia including Vietnam, Laos and the Philippines. (Reporting by Jane Chung; Additional reporting by Hyunjoo Jin; Editing by Louise Heavens, David Evans and Lincoln Feast)

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