South Korea said Friday it has found 19 more wild boars infected with the deadly African swine fever (ASF) virus in areas near the border with North Korea, bringing the total number of cases to 204.
Eighteen animals were found dead in border areas, including in the eastern county of Hwacheon, Gangwon Province, as well as the border city of Paju and Yeoncheon County in Gyeonggi Province, north of Seoul, according to a research institute affiliated with the environment ministry.
The virus was also found in another wild boar captured in the border town of Cheorwon.
South Korea confirmed its first-ever outbreak of the animal disease in September last year. Local authorities have culled about 400,000 domestic pigs as part of preventive measures.
Although no additional ASF cases on farms have been reported since early October, authorities continue to discover dead wild boars carrying the disease, mostly along the inter-Korean border.
The virus has been haunting pig farms across the country as there are currently no vaccines or cures.
So far, all confirmed cases among both domestic and wild pigs have been reported in border areas. Pyongyang reported its first outbreak of ASF at a pig farm near its border with China in May last year.
The disease spreads through direct contact with infected animals or their remains, unlike other animal diseases such as foot-and-mouth disease, which is airborne. (Yonhap)