Travel Alert for South Korea – Bird Flu…

Drum Cussac has issued this latest warning for U.S. Citizens traveling in the country of South Korea.  This information is available to GeoBlue plan members from the GeoBlue website daily…

Lockdown Imposed in Three Provinces amid Concerns Over Spread of Bird Flu

Category: Health and Medical

Severity: 2 (Low)

Source: Drum Cussac

01/27/2014 (South Korea) – On Monday, 27 January, the South Korean government imposed a 12-hour lockdown on poultry farms in three provinces as part of efforts to prevent an outbreak of the H5N8 bird flu strain. From 0600hrs (2100 UTC Sunday), a travel ban is imposed on poultry farmers and other members of the industry, including veterinarians, in the provinces of Gyeonggi, which surrounds the capital Seoul, as well as South and North Chungcheong. During the shutdown, local officials will oversee disinfection operations at all farms in the region.

The risk rating for South Korea is currently MODERATE. Authorities have slaughtered over 640,000 poultry since the H5N8 outbreak was first detected at a duck farm in Gochang, North Jeolla province, approximately 300km (187 miles) southwest of Seoul, on 16 January. Since then, the virus has been identified in 17 other farms, while further tests are being carried out in 22 other locations.

Monday’s shutdown was imposed amid fears that the mass movement of people during the coming Lunar New Year holidays from 30 January to 2 February, will help spread the disease. The latest outbreak was the first reported in the country since 2011 when over six million poultry were culled in about 280 farms. Up until now many human infections and fatalities from bird flu have been caused by the H5N1 strain. Nonetheless those in South Korea, especially in Gyeonggi, South and North Chungcheong province, should avoid all contact with birds, both wild and domesticated, as well as locations with reported bird flu outbreaks. Practical measures should be taken, including maintaining a high standard of personnel and food hygiene. Personnel should ensure that poultry and its by-products have been thoroughly prepared and cooked prior to eating.

Copyright © 2014 Drum Cussac

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