Ten days ago South Korea announced - after a lull of nearly 2 months - the return of HPAI H5N8, first detected in a small flock on the southern island of Jeju. Last winter South Korea lost more than 30 million birds due to the spread of H5N6 and H5N8, but by late last month had declared their outbreak over.
Within less than 48 hours it became apparent that the outbreak was far more widespread, with new outbreaks in Busan, Paju and Yangsan - all linked to birds purchased from a farm in Gunsan.On June 5th South Korea raised their bird flu alert to its highest level, and issued a 24 hour stop movement order. On the 8th, in South Korean Bird Flu Outbreaks Rise, New Restrictions Added, the government ordered a ban on the sale of live poultry in traditional markets across the country.
Today, with 21 confirmed HPAI H5N8 outbreaks, and 14 more under investigation, South Korea's Ministry of Agriculture (MAFRA) has ordered a 2 week ban on live bird trading across the nation.
Additionally, they are imposing a 2 week halt of live bird transport across the entire country, not just affected areas.This escalation comes after newly elected South Korean President Moon Jae-in called for more effective solutions to the bird flu threat last week.
This (translated) statement from the South Korean Government:
From June 12, 'Prohibition of distribution of poultry throughout the country through livestock traders' and 'Prohibition of poultry export prohibition from city and province throughout the country'
Registration date 2017-06-11 10:00:00
The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Livestock and Livestock Foods (hereinafter referred to as "the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries") has taken the following measures to enhance the following AI through the Livestock Infectious Disease Council (6.10 Written), considering that AI is occurring in small- .
① The ban on the distribution of live poultry such as chickens and ducks from the past 6.5 days is prohibited for two weeks from June 12th to June 25th, (Movement restriction) * of poultry such as chickens and ducks.
* Livestock traders registered under the Livestock Act will be permitted to circulate if approved by the antimicrobial authorities for clinical testing and / or simple diagnostic kits, and the ban on poultry trading will continue even after 6.25 days.
- In addition, from June 12, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries will inspect the registered livestock traders' complaints (such as the issue of livestock transaction records), and conduct AI inspections on the related poultry dock.② From June 6th, the ban on the removal of live birds such as live chickens and ducks from Jeonbuk and Jeju will be extended from June 12th to June 18th from June 12th to June 24th.
- In addition, the unregistered livestock traders shall be enforced in Japan.
* Includes restrictions on the removal of animals from the AI-incidence group to non-accidents, and shipment of the slaughterhouse hatcheries will be permitted if the anti-dumping measures such as pre-shipment inspection and approval of the anti-dumping authorities are implemented. Jeonbuk and Jeju will not be allowed to go out even after 6.18 days The ban on the distribution of poultry throughout the nation through livestock traders and the prohibition of carrying out poultry between rivers will be carried out from 0:00 on June 12, It is said that it is to prevent and stop early, and it invited the active cooperation of the local people including livestock dealers of the front line local government and the poultry farm household.Beyond its rapid spread, this outbreak of H5N8 is particularly unnerving to the government because prior to this, bird flu was predominantly a winter threat to South Korea. So much so that they regularly discontinue their enhanced bird flu surveillance program during the summer months.
The Korean CDC has also mentioned - in addition to monitoring for possible human H5N8 infections - that the high number of Chinese tourists visiting Jeju Island raises the possibility that H7N9 might be carried there, and transmitted to, local poultry (and potentially humans).
This from the Korean CDC:
Jung Ki-Seok, Director of Disease Control, visited Jeju Provincial Office and Jeju City Public Health Center, which is handling AI, at 3:00 pm on Monday, June 12, and checked the AI human infection control situation.
▪ '17 .6.2. First medical report, 9th day
▪ A total of 6 cases were confirmed, and about 345,000 farms were disposed of at 34 farms
▪ A total of 843 high-risk people, including farm workers,
□ Jeong Ki-seok emphasized the need for closer cooperation with the local governments so that the risk of human infection and anxiety can be resolved as soon as the first AI occurred in farm households in Jeju and the crisis alert was raised to "serious" ,
□ On the next day, on Tuesday, June 13, at 10 am, we visited the National Jeju Quarantine Station and the Jeju Airport Branch Site to check the quarantine system and encourage the quarantine staff.
- ○ In particular, the CDC said that it would do its best to prevent preventive measures such as farm workers and workers at the disposal site to prevent AI human infection.
- ○ At the same time, I encouraged the health center staff in charge of prevention and management of AI human infection at the site and listened to the difficulties.
○ Since the H7N9 AI human infectious disease continues to occur in China, and Chinese tourists have increased their entry into Jeju, **, they have been urged to thoroughly inspect the Chinese visitors.* In China, a total of 723 people have been diagnosed since October 16 (as of June 17, 2006, the Ministry of Health of Hong Kong), and 231 people died (as of January 17,
** As of 2016, the number of Chinese tourists entering Jeju Island -
Air: 3,559 people / day, cruise ships: 3,145 people / day
If this weren't risk enough, the emergence last January of a new HPAI version of H7N9 - which now appears to be spreading north via migratory birds (see Inner Mongolia Reports Large Poultry Die Off - HPAI H7N9 Suspected) - is another plausible (but not necessarily imminent) way for H7N9 to reach the Korean Peninsula.