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H5N8 avian flu resurfaces in South Korea

Highly pathogenic H5N8 avian influenza was confirmed Jul 25 on a duck farm in South Korea, according to a Korea Joongang Daily story today, resulting in the culling of more than 40,000 birds on the farm and others in surrounding areas.

The farm is in Hampyeong county, which is in the southwestern province of South Jeolla. The virus was detected when sanitation officials conducted tests on the farm for approval of its products for sale, says the story. H5N8 was confirmed the same day.

In addition to destroying some 42,000 birds on the farm, about 2,000 chickens on another farm within a 500-meter radius were also killed, and transport of animals from farms within 10 kilometers of the infected farm were restricted.

The avian flu outbreak comes shortly before the Chuseok holidays in early September, when consumer demand for meat increases, and on top of discovery of foot-and-mouth disease in hogs at a farm in Uiseong County, South Gyeongsang.

South Korea had a series of H5N8 outbreaks in January and February, prompting the culling of millions of poultry, and at least one outbreak was reported in June.