quarta-feira, 26 de março de 2014
S. Korea reports additional infection of bird flu in dogs
SEJONG, March 24 (Yonhap) -- South Korea reported additional cases of avian influenza (AI) in dogs Monday, further confirming the spread of the bird flu to different species.
The cases also marked the first time in the world in which infected dogs survived, according to officials from the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
The ministry said antibodies to AI have been detected in 11 dogs at two separate farms in Cheonan, 80 kilometers south of Seoul, and Buyeo, located 195 kilometers south of the capital.
The detection of antibodies against bird flu confirms that the canines have at least once been infected with the virus that mostly affects poultry. The first case of a dog being infected with the virus was reported March 11 at a different farm in Cheonan.
Since the first outbreak of AI at a duck farm on Jan. 16, South Korea has culled over 11 million birds, mostly chickens and ducks. The government has so far tested samples from 28 pig and dog farms to confirm their infection. Another 18 suspected cases are currently undergoing tests, according to the ministry.
Ministry officials noted the first dog infection of AI was reported in Thailand in 2004, but said the infected dogs here marked the first case where the infected animals survived the virus.
Human infection of AI has been frequently reported, although no human infection of the fairly new H5N8 strain that is currently spreading here has been reported.
The infected dogs have been isolated to undergo further tests to see if they can still spread the avian virus, though the dogs themselves are showing no symptoms of the disease.