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Korea Raises Its Foot-And-Mouth Disease Alert To Highest Level After Discovery Of New Strain

By February 10, 2017 at 6:11 am
Cows (Photo : Getty Images)

South Korea just raised its food and mouth disease alert status to the highest level after the discovery of a second strain of the disease was confirmed. The discovery was made three days after a first outbreak was reported.

The new strain was discovered at a dairy farm in Yeoncheon which is less than 50 miles north of Seoul. This comes after an outbreak of the O-Type strain was confirmed in southeast Korea which prompted Korea to raise the highest alert level.

Kim Kyeong-kyu, the deputy minister for food industry policy said that they are raising the alert level as foot and mouth disease cases occurred in different parts of the country while a second type of the disease has emerged. As a result, 826 cattle had been culled since Wednesday.

It was in 2010 that South Korea raised their foot and mouth disease to the highest level when the country experienced its worst outbreak in history.

Since the first outbreak in Monday, the government has already begun safety measures by providing nationwide vaccination and movement control that is designed to control the spread of the virus.

Meanwhile, the country had re-vaccinated all the cattle against the O-type virus and will be inoculated again for the A-type strain. Oh Soon-min, a senior agriculture ministry official in charge of animal health said that the ministry may have to import vaccines from other manufacturers as Korea's supply of the O+A type vaccine which allows livestock to be vaccinated by both strains at the same time is in short supply.

As a safety pre-caution, Korea regularly inoculates its cattle and hogs against tree types of foot and mouth diseases. The country currently has around 3.14 million cattle and 10 million hogs nationwide.

The agriculture ministry is thinking of vaccinating the hogs again since cases of the infection so far has only occurred to cattle. 

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