The South Korean government said Saturday the avian influenza (AI) virus has been detected at a poultry farm operated by a local conglomerate located in the southern part of the country.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said the H5 strain of the bird flu was discovered from the farm with around 12,300 ducks in Gochang, 296 kilometers southwest of Seoul.
The government said it is currently carrying out epidemiological investigations, while slaughtering the livestock as a preventive measure.
The ministry said it will check to see if the virus is highly pathogenic, with the result expected by Tuesday.
Low pathogenic AI strains cause only mild symptoms and may easily go undetected, while highly pathogenic subtypes spread rapidly across poultry farms and cause serious problems, experts said.
"Although the duck farm is owned by a conglomerate, we cannot reveal the name until we get the result of the test," an official from the ministry said.
The ministry also advised local residents to refrain from making visits to poultry farms or wild bird sanctuaries. (Yonhap)