S Korea to beef up quarantine measures to stem spread of FMD

19:09, January 15, 2010      

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South Korea is set to beef up quarantine measures to prevent spread of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) after the government confirmed on Thursday the second outbreak of the highly contagious disease.

The first outbreak of FMD in eight years occurred on Jan. 7 in a cattle farm in Pochen in Gyeonggi Province, about 45 kilometers north of Seoul.

"It seems unlikely that the FMD would spread to wider areas beyond the already contaminated area, but additional cases suspected of infection have been found around the cattle farm where the outbreak was first reported," an official at the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said.

Livestock suspected of infection would be immediately banned from moving and could be culled before closer examination if deemed necessary, he said.

The government will strictly restrict access of animals and humans to the contaminated area, especially within three-kilometer radius of the farms where the disease was reported.

The foot-and-mouth disease is a highly contagious and sometimes fatal disease that can affect cloven-hoofed animals including pigs, sheep and goats, but humans are hardly affected by the virus.

Source: Xinhua
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