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South Korea To Import Vaccines To Control Foot And Mouth Outbreak

By February 13, 2017 at 7:03 am
Cattle from UK (Photo : Christopher Furlong|Getty Images News)

South Korea has experienced an outbreak of foot and mouth disease from livestock the past week. Two strains of the disease have been discovered which has prompted the country to raise its alarm to the highest level. Vaccines for the disease are now in short supply as south Korea is planning to import 4.8 million doses of the vaccine in an effort to prevent the disease from spreading further.

There have six cases of foot and mouth disease discovers in the past week since the case was officially confirmed. 12000 cattle were slaughtered which is about 0.04 percent of the whole cattle population in korea.

Most of the cases for foot and mouth disease were from the o-type strain. But with recent discovery of the a-type strain, South Korea raised its alert level to the highest level.

Lee Junwon, vice agriculture minister has assured that there are no problems on the vaccine supply while the importation of the vaccines is for emergency purposes in case of additional outbreaks of the A-type strain. The vice minister also assured that the outbreak has had limited effect on the local supply of beef and pork.

Korea regularly inoculates their cattle despite the outbreak but has since re-vaccinated all cattle against the O-type strain. The country currently has 8.3 million doses for the O-type strain and 900,000 for the O+A type vaccine which vaccinates cattle for both strains of the virus.

1.6 million doses of O+A type vaccine will arrive in South Korea on Friday and early March. In addition, 3.2 million O-type vaccines will arrive on February 17 and February 24 Lee Junwon said.

In addition to the recent foot and mouth disease affecting livestock, Korea is also grappling with the country's worst bird flu epidemic since last November. As an effect, the country has culled 33 million farm bird

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