Nowadays, the high pathogenic AI (avian influenza) spreads quickly central capital areas and west of the capital in Korea.
AI is an acute viral epidemic that occurs when we are infected with AI viruses from chickens, ducks and wild birds. High pathogenic means that people can be contagious. In other words, this AI has dangerous infectious that affects many people. This is a new type that has never been seen before in our country and we can judge this type is a very serious problem contrary to the past.
This time, on November 16th, AI appeared first in Haenam of Jeollanam-do and Eupseong of ChungCheongbuk-do. Moreover, it moved north to the capital city within a week.
Since the AI occurred in Pocheon of Gyeonggi-do, breeds of about ten million chickens in 225 farms and accounts for 7~8% of output in the whole country, national diffusion is worrying people more seriously.
Because of this, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs upgraded its emergency warning from ‘Caution’ to ‘Alert’ on November 23rd.
The emergency warning is divided into 4 stages from the lowest seriousness to the greatest: ‘Attention’, ‘Caution, ‘Alert’, and ‘Severe’. If the stage upgrades to ‘Alert’, the head office of preventive measures with situation rooms, install and manage all the provinces and cities. In addition, the ‘Alert’ stage makes stockbreeding in farmhouse halted in the country including regions that documented AI, contrary to the ‘Caution’ stage which bans meeting or rallying only in regions that had AI.
The ‘H5N6’ type of AI in this time has cases of death because of human body infection in China and Hong Kong. So it has received attention as a terrible problem. Being the case, according to fast diffusion, disease prevention authorities are straining about the possibility of large scale AI after 2014 and 2015.
People in the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said, “AI infects by direct contact, and is not airborne, so it has little possibility to infect the general public and up to date, there is no case of body infection in Korea. However, we will operate accurate surveys and take safety steps so that you can feel relief about concern of infection.”
With these announcements, they ask people, “There is dangerous spread of farm illness because winter migratory birds come in our country continuously. Please cooperate and abstain from visiting farms or habitats for migratory birds and if you visit there, then follow disinfection measures.”
|Slaughter of many ducks because of AI|
Farmers who have chicken farms said, “Even though the government gives us some compensation, there will be enormous damages. We felt so sad because we had to bury our chickens. Public officers are too painful as well as our farmers.How can we prevent infection from a flock of birds?” and expressed painfulness.
Some farmers argued that the compensation is unfair because they have to abandon subsidiary materials or feed when they are burying their chickens or ducks.
The disease prevention authorities are thinking that the cause of AI is infection by birds from China and they are reinforcing vaccination and orientation for preventing AI. In addition, they are checking regulation of disease prevention in vulnerable areas and slaughterhouses to prevent further spread.
About this situation, The Korean Center for Disease Control and Prevention announced rules of prevention.
They explained about keeping the rules of health like washing your hands frequently or don’t touch your eyes, nose and mouth with your hands are the most important.
Furthermore, they announced that AI can spread when we contact dust and water, etc. polluted by birds that are infected. So they emphasized that if we have signs or breathing difficulty after we contact chickens or ducks in infected areas, then we have to report immediately to a health center in that area or Disease Control and Prevention call center (1339).
Kim Eun-hwa, cub-reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
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