S.Korea battles rapid spread of foot-and-mouth disease

Dec 27, 2010

South Korea Monday confirmed three new cases of foot-and-mouth disease, bringing the total to 56 since the country's worst outbreak began a month ago.

The agriculture ministry said the new cases were on cattle and pig farms in Yangpyeong county, 55 kilometres (34 miles) east of Seoul, the western port city of Incheon and the southeastern county of Cheongsong.

"About 389,000 animals have been or will soon be culled around the country... numerically, this is the worst we have ever had," said a ministry official who declined to be named.

The ministry estimates losses related to the disease at around 400 billion won (347.5 million dollars).

About 160,000 animals were slaughtered during the previous worst outbreak in 2002.

In a desperate attempt to curtail the spread of the disease, the government on Saturday launched vaccinations for some 56,000 cattle -- risking a longer export ban from overseas.

It takes longer for a country that launches vaccinations to regain disease-free status from the World Organisation for Animal Health than when the disease is curbed solely by culling.

The battle is facing another obstacle -- a cold snap that froze disinfectant and spraying equipment. "The situation was pretty hard over the weekend, but it's getting better," said the ministry official.

Some events have been cancelled for fear of spreading the outbreak.

The southeastern province of North Gyeongsang, which has lost most livestock during the latest outbreak, decided to scrap most state-organised fairs and festivals.

President Lee Myung-Bak on Sunday urged officials to provide "maximum support" to farmers and health officials fighting the disease, including offering gloves, earmuffs and other cold weather gear.

Previous outbreaks in January and April this year cost more than 250 billion won and left nearly 50,000 animals slaughtered.

Foot-and-mouth affects cloven-hoofed animals such as cattle, pigs, deer, goats and sheep.

Explore further: Unidentified fever kills 13 in DR Congo in 10 days

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

236,000 birds killed in flu outbreak

Nov 27, 2006

South Korea slaughtered 236,000 chickens and ducks after tests confirmed an outbreak of a highly virulent type of bird flu, the government said.

Recommended for you

How the world is underestimating Ebola: WHO

1 hour ago

The Ebola epidemic tearing through western Africa is by far the deadliest known outbreak of the disease, yet the magnitude of the spread is believed to be severely underestimated.

Last Ebola-free region of Liberia falls to virus

1 hour ago

Every region of Liberia has now been hit by Ebola, officials said Friday, as the World Health Organization warned the fight against the worst-ever outbreak of the killer disease would take months.

Ebola death toll rises to 1,427: WHO

12 hours ago

The death toll from the Ebola outbreak sweeping through west African countries has risen to 1,427 out of more than 2,600 cases, the World Health Organization said Friday.

User comments : 3

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

scidog
not rated yet Dec 27, 2010
one guess where that came from----
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (1) Dec 27, 2010
one guess where that came from----

"The battle is facing another obstacle -- a cold snap that froze disinfectant and spraying equipment. "
Global Warming, of course.
Bog_Mire
Dec 27, 2010
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
snelson5871
not rated yet Dec 30, 2010
a whole country with a foot fetish woo hoo