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With no new ASF confirmed for 3rd day, S. Korea revs up containment efforts

With no new ASF confirmed for 3rd day, S. Korea revs upcontainment South Korea has ratcheted up quarantine efforts to prevent additional outbreaks of African swine fever, though no new confirmed cases have been reported for three days, as a typhoon is on course to hit the southern part of the country this week.

The country's quarantine authorities have been implementing disinfection operations at major roads and rivers near the inter-Korean border, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said Monday.

The country has experienced nine cases of African swine fever since Sept. 17, when its first-ever case was confirmed. The latest ASF case was confirmed on Friday.


So far, all confirmed cases have been in northern areas of Gyeonggi Province and Incheon adjacent to the border with North Korea. A suspected case was reported in central South Korea on Sunday but later tested negative.

Although ASF is not harmful to people, it is fatal for pigs and there is no cure currently available, making culling affected pigs the only viable option to prevent the spread of the deadly animal virus.

The ministry said it had culled around 67,000 pigs as of Sunday afternoon. The total number of pigs slaughtered or to be culled will exceed 94,000, it added.

Quarantine officials have been culling pigs within a 3-kilometer radius of infected farms.

As five out of nine confirmed cases came from Ganghwa Island in Incheon, the ministry decided to slaughter all pigs -- an estimated 38,000 animals -- raised in the area.

All parts of Gyeonggi Province and Incheon, along with neighboring Gangwon Province, have been designated as tightly controlled zones subject to more stringent disinfection operations and checkups.

Vehicles involved in the livestock industry in northern Gyeonggi Province are also banned from traveling outside of the areas.

The confirmed cases of African swine fever in South Korea came roughly four months after North Korea reported an outbreak of the disease to the World Organization for Animal Health near its border with China in May.

Earlier, South Korea's spy agency said pigs have been "wiped out" due to the disease in the North's northwestern Pyongan Province.

South Korea's supply of pork, meanwhile, is expected to get back to normal following Saturday's lifting of a nationwide standstill at pig farms, the ministry added. (Yonhap)