S. Korea says it will step up bird flu program
submited by wanglh at Oct, 28, 2006 21:12 PM from Reuters
SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea will step up efforts to counter a potential outbreak of bird flu from migrating birds passing through the Korean peninsula in the coming months, the Agriculture Ministry said on Wednesday.
South Korea has not seen an avian influenza outbreak since early in 2004, but has mounted an anti-bird flu campaign during winter every year since.
"Bird flu has spread rapidly since late 2003 from Asia recently to Europe and Africa. We need to closely monitor possible spread of the disease," the ministry said in a statement.
"We will begin special monitoring and quarantine precautions from November to February in 2007."
Bird flu can be transmitted by migratory birds from neighboring countries that spend winter in South Korea, according to experts.
Farmers are advised to prevent their poultry from coming in contact with migrating birds and the government will strengthen inspection on poultry imports.
Last month, South Korea´s government said nine people were infected with bird flu virus in late 2003 and early 2004 but none of them developed serious illnesses.
About 400,000 poultry at South Korean farms were infected by bird flu between December 2003 and March 2004, but no human cases were reported at that time.
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