With two more chicken farms in South Korea confirmed infected by the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), fears grew that the disease might further spread across the country, the English-language newspaper The Korea Times reported on Saturday.
A chicken farm in Ichon, Gyeonggi Province, 70 km southeast to Seoul, was confirmed on Friday to have been infected by the bird flu virus.
The outbreak made Gyeonggi the fifth province in South Korea to report bird flu cases after the first case was reported in Umsong, North Chungchong Province on Dec. 15.
The provincial authorities slaughtered 165,000 chickens within the three-kilometer radius of the affected chicken farm in Ichon as part of preventive measures against possible further spread of the avian flu.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry also confirmed on Friday that a chicken farm in Cheonan, South Chungcheong Province, some 150 km south to Seoul, was infected by the bird flu.
The avian virus has spread to some 12 chicken and duck farms in Umsong, Naju in South Cheolla Province and Gyongju, North Gyongsang Province.
More than 1.5 million poultry have been slaughtered across the country.
(Xinhua News Agency December 27, 2003)