Agricultural officials disinfect an automobile near a farm located in Sangju, 270 km southeast of Seoul, on Wednesday. (Yonhap)
South Korea said Friday it is investigating 10 suspected cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (AI) found from wild bird droppings, sparking concerns over the nationwide spread of the virus among poultry farms.
The new suspected cases came from samples gathered from major wild bird habitats across the nation, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
It will take up to five days to determine whether they are highly pathogenic.
South Korea reported its first highly pathogenic AI case in 32 months in late October from Cheonan, 92 kilometers south of Seoul.
Health authorities have since identified a total of 13 wild bird-related cases.
Highly pathogenic avian influenza is highly contagious and can cause severe illness and even death in poultry.
So far, the country has reported two such AI cases from poultry farms.
The first case was reported at a duck farm in Jeongeup of North Jeolla Province on Saturday, followed by a second infection from an egg farm in Sangju, 270 km southeast of Seoul, on Wednesday. (Yonhap)