South Korea faces outbreak of ‘highly contagious’ bird flu as 2 cases confirmed

A second case of what scientists fear is a highly contagious bird flu has been recorded in just three days in South Korea.

Birds at zoos, breeding facilities and sanctuaries will be regularly checked for the highly contagious virus, following South Korea's Ministry of Environment announcement on Wednesday expressing serious concern about containing it.

Wild bird faeces in Cheongmicheon, Yongin, Gyeonggi Province was collected for analysis on October 24.

Results confirmed an outbreak of a H5N8 type highly pathogenic avian influenza virus.

A second case has now been registered in the area of Bonggangcheon, Cheonan-si, Chungnam on the 25th.

It was the first time in two years and eight months after the H5N6 type was last confirmed in Gokgyocheon, Asan, Chungcheongnam-do on February 1, 2018.

South Korea's Ministry of Environment decided to reinforce forecasting of major migratory birds in the country in accordance with the 'Wild Bird AI Action Guide (SOP)'.

It also plans to strengthen the quarantine management of habitats for wild birds to be protected such as endangered species and exhibition and breeding facilities.

Areas within a 10km radius of a detection point will be set as a 'wild tide current forecasting area'.

After disinfection, a control post and a banner will be installed for access control to reinforce blocking prevention.

In addition, detailed investigations will be carried out, such as collecting wild bird faeces and dead body samples to understand the status of habitats by species of major wild birds.

In cooperation with local governments, the quarantine status of bird breeding facilities, endangered species restoration centres, wild bird sanctuaries and zoos will be regularly monitored.

Wildlife rescue centres will be banned from taking in wild birds from a 500m radius of the detection point.

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