Officials disinfect the area surrounding a duck farm in Jinju, 434 kilometers south of Seoul, on Jan. 9, 2021. (Yonhap)
South Korea's agricultural ministry said Sunday it is investigating a suspected case of highly pathogenic bird flu from a poultry farm.
The latest suspected case of the malign H5 strain of avian influenza was reported at a duck farm in Gimje, about 260 kilometers southwest of Seoul, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
The ministry issued a standstill order for nearby farms within 10 kilometers, as bird flu is contagious and can cause severe illness and even death in poultry.
It will take up to three days to determine whether the suspected case is also highly pathogenic, authorities said.
The disease has been spreading quickly among poultry farms across the country since its first such case in nearly three years in November.
As of Saturday, the country reported three new cases of highly pathogenic bird flu from local poultry farms, raising the total caseload to 65, the agriculture ministry said. (Yonhap)