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S. Korea's highly pathogenic bird flu caseload reaches 62

Avian Influenza (Yonhap)
Avian Influenza (Yonhap)
South Korea's agricultural ministry said Friday the total number of highly pathogenic bird flu cases traced to farms reached 62 amid the growing concerns over the spread of the disease across the country.

The latest confirmed case of the H5N8 strain of avian influenza came from an egg farm in Anseong, 77 kilometers south of Seoul, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

South Korea saw its first farm-traced case in nearly three years in November 2020.

Later on Friday, authorities said they began investigation into another suspected case from a duck farm in Hadong, 473 kilometers south of Seoul. The farm was raising 15,000 birds.

By region, Gyeonggi Province that surrounds Seoul took up 17 cases.

North Jeolla Province accounted for 11, and South Chungcheong Province saw eight cases.

With the country destroying poultry within a 3-kilometer radius of infected farms, South Korea has so far culled 18.9 million birds.

Cases traced to wild birds also piled up to reach 74 as of Friday.

Authorities are being vigilant as migratory birds are anticipated to continue to fly into South Korea over the winter, which could potentially lead to more infections at local farms.

Local prices of poultry meat and eggs, meanwhile, recently spiked amid shortages. The consumer price of chicken increased 10 percent over the past week compared to the previous year, while that of eggs spiked 23.2 percent. (Yonhap)