Bird Flu OUTBREAK: Duck farm culls THOUSANDS of poultry and 'huge area LOCKED DOWN'

Bird Flu OUTBREAK: Duck farm culls THOUSANDS of poultry and 'huge area LOCKED DOWN'

The H5 avian influenza virus has been discovered on the farm and an inspection is currently underway to figure out whether the case contains the highly pathogenic strain of bird flu, officials said.

Quarantine officials will slaughter around 20,000 quails being raised at a farm 3km (1.8m) away from the site as a preventative measure.

The farm is in Eumseong in North Chungcheong Province, South Korea, around 131km (81m) south of Seoul.

South Korean news agency Yonhap reported: “The provincial Government imposed a standstill order for 24 hours in areas within 10 kilometres (6.2m) of the site to help contain further spread of the disease.”

The virus was discovered during an inspection before sales of the farm’s ducks.

It is the first case of avian influenza to be reported in 41 days.

But different strains have hit Mexico, Bhutan and the Netherlands in the last few days.

Bird flu is an infectious type of influenza that spreads among birds, but in very rare cases can affect humans.

There are many different strains of the bird flu virus - many don’t infect humans. But three that have caused concern in recent years around the world, including H5N1 (since 1997), H7N9 (since 2013) and H5N6 (since 2014).

Around 24,000 ducks have recently been killed at a single duck farm in China.

The dangerous H5N6 bird flu was detected at the farm in Guangxi Province.

The strain was described as “highly pathogenic” by the OIE, the World Organisation for Animal Health.

The Chinese Agriculture Ministry said the virus killed 23,950 ducks out of a flock of 30,462.

A woman in China was the first ever human recorded to have the H7N4 strain of the virus in February.

The virus was found in a 68-year-old woman from Jiangsu province, who has since recovered after falling ill on December 25.

According to China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission, the patient had contact with live poultry before getting sick and was discharged from hospital on January 22 after “recovering from her illness”.

Like other types of flu, the NHS says bird flu symptoms often include: A high temperature (fever), Aching muscles, Headache and a cough or a runny nose.

The world’s first human cases of bird flu were reported in Hong Kong in 1997, when six people were killed by H5N1.

A spokesperson from Hong Kong’s centre for health protection has issued the following advice: “Travellers to the mainland or other affected areas must avoid visiting wet markets, live poultry markets or farms. They should be alert to the presence of backyard poultry when visiting relatives and friends.

“They should also avoid purchasing live or freshly slaughtered poultry, and avoid touching poultry/birds or their droppings. They should strictly observe personal and hand hygiene when visiting any place with live poultry.

“Travellers returning from affected areas should consult a doctor promptly if symptoms develop, and inform the doctor of their travel history for prompt diagnosis and treatment of potential diseases.”

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