South Korea’s Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs confirmed the country’s first case of African swine flu on Tuesday, September 17. The case was recorded at a pig farm in Paju (Gyeonggi province), prompting officials to order emergency quarantine measures. A 48-hour lockdown is in place for all pig farms across the country as of 06:30 (local time) on Tuesday. During the quarantine, no animals, people, or equipment may be removed from farms and those traveling to other farms or related facilities will be placed under temporary lockdown in a secured location. Veterinary first responders have deployed to the farm too and disinfection measures will be strengthened at farms across the country. Authorities have placed five checkpoints near the affected farm to prevent further spread of the disease. Heightened containment efforts may be extended if additional cases are confirmed in the coming days.
African swine flu (ASF) does not affect humans but is 100 percent fatal. It is highly contagious and impacts both domestic and wild pigs. The disease is spread by animals coming into contact with infected pigs, ingestion of contaminated material (such as food waste, feed, or garbage), and ticks. There is currently no vaccine available for ASF.
Individuals in Paju, and South Korea more generally, are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid the affected area, and obey all instructions issued by the local authorities.
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