0550 GMT March 22, 2019
The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said it has heightened alertness against the avian influenza as several outbreaks have been reported in Russia, where the migratory birds start their journey in late fall, yonhapnews.co.kr wrote.
South Korea has confirmed four H5 strains of avian influenza near bird habitats across the nation this month, with all of them having been confirmed as low pathogenic viruses.
"Avian influenza strains have not yet been discovered in South Chungcheong Province and Gyeongi Province, where migratory birds mainly inhabit in mid-October, quarantine measures were heightened after an increasing number of bird flu outbreaks were reported in Russia," the ministry said in a release.
About 490 cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza have occurred in 34 nations, including China, Taiwan and Russia, this year, with 66 percent of them being identical types of viruses discovered in South Korea, according to the ministry.
The ministry said it has set up a special quarantine period until February to carry out disinfections and keep closer tabs on local poultry farms and habitats of wild birds.
The ministry will restrict operations of 200 duck farms located near highly susceptible regions in the next four months to prevent outbreaks of the highly infectious animal disease.
The ministry, in addition, said it has been vaccinating cattle to prevent the outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) and distributed test kits to provincial governments to check suspected cases.
FMD is an acute infectious viral disease of livestock that causes fever followed by the development of vesicles chiefly in the mouth and on the feet. It is one of the most infectious diseases for livestock and can spread rapidly if uncontrolled.
It affects cloven-hoofed animals, including cattle, camels, sheep, goats and deer and is prevalent in springtime.