Credit Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture – MAFF
South Korea, which roughly 20 months ago became the first country to report large outbreaks of the recently emerged HPAI H5N8 virus in domestic poultry, has – like the United States - enjoyed a brief summer lull in reported bird flu outbreaks.
Today, however, it finds itself once again on alert after two farms in the southwestern part of the country have reported suspicious poultry deaths.
MAFRA, the Korean Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs has issued an alert - AI crisis phase "Caution" issued in Gwangju and Jeonnam, poultry, such as temporary injunction movement (Standstill) activated) - effectively locking down poultry operations in the region until tests can be completed.
A somewhat more readable version of this alert comes from the Korea Times this morning.
Updated : 2015-09-17 16:44
South Korea issued a bird flu alert Thursday after finding that birds at two duck farms in the southwestern part of the country may have contracted the contagious airborne disease, the government said.
The Ministry for Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said preliminary tests conducted on birds at the farms in Naju and Gangji showed they probably were infected with a strain of the avian influenza (AI).
While definitive test results will come out as early as Friday, the government issued a "yellow" alert, dispatched quarantine teams to the sites and has started to restrict the movement of animals, people and vehicles, it added.
Seoul has a four-tiered alert system with "yellow" being the third-highest level below "red" and "orange." At normal times a "blue" readiness posture is maintained.
The ministry also said as part of its precautionary measures, the 14,300 birds raised at the two farms will be culled, and starting from midnight, a "standstill" order will go into effect for the whole of South Jeolla Province and Gwangju for 24 hours, to arrest the possible spread of the bird flu.
Japan, which shares the same migratory bird flyways as Korea, will no doubt be watching the events unfolding in Korea with considerable interest. In the past, migratory birds have been linked to the spread of the virus to Japan, Taiwan, Russia, China, Europe, and North America.
With autumn approaching, and the fall migration of birds from their summer nesting grounds about to commence, much of the Northern Hemisphere – including North America - will find itself increasing their vigilance against bird flu’s arrival.
For more on North America’s preparations for the expected return of HPAI H5 this fall, you may wish to revisit: