Korea ex­pands cull to con­tain bird flu

Kuwait Times - - HEALTH & SCIENCE -

South Korea yes­ter­day said it was ex­pand­ing a cull of chick­ens and ducks to try to con­tain a dam­ag­ing bird flu out­break. The H5N6 virus was first con­firmed on Novem­ber 18 at a farm in cen­tral South Korea and has since spread to farms around the coun­try, with the to­tal num­ber of cases now stand­ing at 28.

The agri­cul­ture min­istry said in a state­ment that it has culled more than 4.4 mil­lion birds and would slaugh­ter an­other 2.7 mil­lion. Health au­thor­i­ties agreed to is­sue a so-called “stand­still” or­der to re­strict work­ers at poul­try farms from mov­ing around the coun­try if the virus con­tin­ues to spread, the min­istry said in a state­ment. There have been no cases of hu­man in­fec­tions from H5N6 in South Korea, al­though between 2014 and April 2016, the virus killed six peo­ple in China, ac­cord­ing to the South’s Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion. The World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion warned ear­lier this year that the strain “has caused se­vere in­fec­tion in hu­mans” but added “un­til now hu­man in­fec­tions with the virus seem to be spo­radic with no on­go­ing hu­man to hu­man trans­mis­sion”.

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