Late last year,... Korea was hit by one of the worst outbreaks of avian influenza in its history,... decimating the country's supplies of eggs and poultry.However,... after being on the verge of getting things almost back to normal,... the nation could be facing yet another nightmare scenario. Kim Hyesung tells us more. The Korean government on Tuesday raised its bird flu alert to "severe", the highest on the nation's four-tier warning system.This... after officials confirmed that the virus found at a poultry farm in Jeju Island is the highly pathogenic H5N8 strain. This is only the second time that Korea has raised the alert to the highest level. The first time was after the previous outbreak in November last year. "We are still investigating the cause of this outbreak. But it's possible the H5N8 virus has spread. It could either be in bird droppings... or in the birds themselves."The cases reported last weekend are believed to have spread from a farm in Gunsan, Jeollabuk-do Province. The farm sold around four-thousand chickens on May 27th... to farms in Jeju, Paju, Yangsan, and Busan. The first case was reported from a farm in Jeju last Friday, a week after the sale. On Tuesday, a farm in Iksan in the southwest of the country also tested positive, and the government says the chickens may have been purchased from Gunsan. As of Tuesday afternoon, the Korean government had confirmed bird flu cases at more than ten farms across the country. To help stop the spread, the agriculture ministry has issued a temporary ban on the transportation of live poultry nationwide for 24 hours, starting from midnight on Tuesday. The government has also dispatched investigators and quarantine officers to the hardest-hit areas.Almost 40-thousand chickens and ducks have been culled nationwide since last week.Kim Hyesung, Arirang News.
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