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S. Korea confirms additional FMD cases near Seoul

South Korea confirmed additional cases of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) Saturday at three pig farms in cities just outside of Seoul, indicating a failure of nationwide quarantine efforts to contain the highly contagious animal disease.

The additional cases now brought to 102 the number of confirmed FMD cases in the country that reported the first confirmed case in the latest outbreak on Nov. 29.

The first confirmed case was reported at two pig farms in Andong, a city located some 270 kilometers southeast of Seoul. The disease has since spread to most parts of the country with over 1.2 million animals already destroyed or subject to culling as of Friday, according to the Ministry of Food, Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

The three latest cases were confirmed at pig farms in Pyeongtaek, Yongin and Anseong, all in Gyeonggi Province, which surrounds the capital Seoul.

Five other suspected cases have been reported at pig and cow farms throughout the nation, including the eastern Gangong Province and the central North Chungcheong Province, according to the ministry.

FMD affects all animals with cloven hooves, including sheep and deer. All animals within a 500-meter radius of an affected farm are subject to culling as a precautionary measure.

The latest outbreak marked the third of its kind in 2010 when the country reported its first confirmed case since 2002.

The disease and meat from affected animals does not affect humans.