2 more suspected cases of African swine fever reported

2 more suspected cases of African swine fever reported


South Korea's agricultural ministry said Friday it is testing two suspected cases of African swine fever after the country confirmed two cases of the deadly virus early this week.

The suspected ASF cases were reported from two pig farms in Paju, located near the heavily fortified border with North Korea, where the first confirmed ASF case was also reported on Tuesday.

The second confirmed ASF case was reported in neighboring Yeoncheon the following day, raising concerns over the spread of the highly contagious animal disease across the country. 

The ASF cases came roughly four months after North Korea reported its first confirmed case of the disease at a farm near its border with China to the World Organization for Animal Health.

As of 6:00 a.m. Friday, the ministry said it had culled more than 10,000 pigs since the first ASF case was confirmed.

The ministry decided to slaughter pigs within a 3-kilometer radius of the farms infected with the fever, which is larger than the 500-meter stipulated on the manual, due to the seriousness of the case.

As part of quarantine efforts, the ministry designated the six municipalities of Gyeonggi Province, including Paju and Yeoncheon, as tightly controlled zones.

Quarantine authorities have been carrying out investigations into farms located within 10 kilometers of the infected farms in Paju and Yeoncheon. Of the 107 farms under assessment, half of them were tested to be negative, with studies on the remaining farms being under way.

More than 400 farms are estimated to be raising around 700,000 pigs in the six areas.

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