UPDATE : 2019.12.13 FRI 09:50
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Another suspected case of African swine fever reported

South Korea's agricultural ministry said Monday another suspected case of African swine fever (ASF) was reported after the country confirmed two cases of the deadly animal disease last week.

The suspected case was reported from a farm in Gimpo, located roughly 30 kilometers west of Seoul, according to the ministry. It was the first suspected case reported south of the Han River, which runs through Seoul.

South Korea's first-ever confirmed case of ASF was reported in Paju, located near the border with North Korea on Tuesday. The second confirmed case was reported the following day in the neighboring Yeoncheon.

So far, all confirmed or suspected cases came from northern areas of Gyeonggi Province, adjacent with the inter-Korean border.

Two suspected cases of ASF were also reported from Paju on Friday, then later tested negative.

The disease is highly contagious and fatal for pigs, with no cure currently available. It is, however, not harmful to humans.

The ASF cases came roughly four months after North Korea reported its first confirmed case of the disease, at a farm near its border with China, to the World Organization for Animal Health.

Local authorities are currently working to determine what caused ASF in the country, including inspecting waterways that connect to North Korea. The disease is mainly spread by contaminated feed or by direct contact with people and wild animals with the virus.

The ministry said it will also speed up efforts to recover damages caused by Typhoon Tapah which ripped southern parts of South Korea on Sunday with strong winds and heavy rains, to prevent any further spread of ASF.

"We need to bolster quarantine measures to the highest level, and apply disinfectants throughout the country following the heavy rain," Agriculture Minister Kim Hyeon-soo said during an emergency meeting on ASF. (Yonhap)

Cho Kyung-hee  edt@koreapost.com

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