Korea, A new suspected case of African swine fever (ASF) was reported here Saturday, adding to concerns about the potential spread of the deadly animal disease despite extensive quarantine efforts.
The case was reported at a farm in the city of Yangju, 30 kilometers north of Seoul, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
Should pigs there test positive for the highly contagious disease, this will be the 10th confirmed ASF case since Sept. 17, when the first was reported.
There were several suspected cases in Yangju earlier this week but all tested negative, according to the ministry.
With the country struggling to identify the origin of the deadly virus, Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon instructed officials to look into all possibilities Saturday.
All confirmed or suspected cases have come from northern areas of Gyeonggi Province near the inter-Korean border, but no clear infection vector has been identified.
“We have taken measures fully in accordance with our manuals and sometimes beyond that. But what we are doing seems far from perfect, as the measures rely on the premise that the virus is being transmitted via people, vehicles or big animals,” Lee said while presiding over a Cabinet meeting in Sejong, an administrative city 120 kilometers south of Seoul.
As part of preventive measures, the authorities decided to slaughter all pigs at farms located in the county of Ganghwa, Incheon, west of Seoul, upon the suggestion of the regional government, Friday. The total number of pigs culled or to be culled has reached 90,000 across the country. Ganghwa is regarded as the most vulnerable region, as five out of the nine confirmed cases have come from there. (Yonhap)