BEACON TRANSCRIPT – One month ago, the health authorities from South Korea declared that the country is officially avian flu-free. However, a couple of days ago, the authorities detected another outbreak of the flu on a farm near the town of Incheon.
The health officials from Seoul declared that South Korea might be facing another avian influenza epidemic, and the timing couldn’t be any worse. According to several agencies, after the health authorities announced that the bird flu outbreak was officially over, South Korea resumed poultry meat exports to South Korea.
However, upon closer inspection, the inspectors have detected another possible bird flu nidus, on a farm just outside the town of Incheon, 80 kilometers from Seoul. According to their appraisal of the situation, it would seem that approximately 10.000 birds might have contracted the H5N8 strain of the disease.
After confirming that the birds were infected with avian influenza, the health authorities decided to cull the birds and to place the whole area under quarantine.
The H5N8 virus is considered a subtype of the flu A virus. Usually, the H5N8 strain is considered to be the mildest virus in the extended flu family. However, recent research has stated that this strain of the virus has become more frequent.
Moreover, the strain might sometimes act as an incubator for the H1N1 strain of influenza, broadly considered to be the most dangerous subtype.
The symptoms associated with the H5N8 strain are chills, fever, muscle weakness, coughing and headaches. In some instances, the researchers have observed that conjunctivitis can also be associated with avian flu.
While the bird flu rarely infects flu, there are particular strains, like the H1N1 influenza strain that could produce severe symptoms in humans. But, most of these symptoms are restricted to poultry.
According to the health authorities, once a bird or several birds from a farm have tested positive for the disease, the standard procedure is to cull all birds from that bird in hope that the disease won’t extend beyond the confines of the property.
However, as an extra precaution, the authorities will also investigate the neighboring farms, to see if there is an outbreak.
In the light of this new development, Seoul has halted poultry exports to Hong Kong. Furthermore, the health authorities have begun to cull the poultry from the farm near Incheon and are currently investigating the whole area.
As we’ve mentioned before, most forms of avian flu are rarely transmissible. However, severe forms of influenza subtype that can cause some severe respiratory symptoms.