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S. Korea reports additional case of foot-and-mouth disease

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Published : 2014-07-28 16:14
Updated : 2014-07-28 16:14

South Korea confirmed another case of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) Monday, signaling a possible spread of the animal disease that affects cloven-hoofed animals, including cows and sheep.

The additional outbreak was confirmed at a pig farm in Goryeong, North Gyeongsang Province, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

The report came four days after the country confirmed its first outbreak of FMD in over three years at a pig farm in nearby Uiseong.

"All pigs at the Goryeong farm that are showing symptoms of FMD will be destroyed while the entire farm and its facilities will be thoroughly quarantined," the ministry said in a press release.

All animals and equipment, including vehicles, at the farm have been placed under a temporary lockdown to prevent possible spreading of the disease, it added.

A ministry official said there was little possibility of the disease spreading further, noting both cases in Goryeong and Uiseong have been diagnosed with a type "O" strain of the animal disease, against which most of animals here are vaccinated.

"We believe the possibility of the disease growing into a nationwide outbreak is slim as the country vaccinates against the type O strain of FMD," Kwon Jae-han, head of the ministry's livestock policy bureau, told a press briefing.

"Still, it is too early to completely let our guard down as outbreaks of the disease have also been reported in neighboring China and North Korea and some animals here may not have been vaccinated," he added.

South Korea had regained the status of a country free of FMD through vaccination just two months ago.

The last outbreak in 2011 led to the culling of nearly 3.5 million animals, causing over 2.73 trillion won (US$2.66 billion) in damage. (Yonhap)