S. Korea confirms 20th wild boar infected with African swine fever

SEOUL-- A wild boar found dead near the border with North Korea has tested positive for African swine fever (ASF), authorities said Saturday, bringing the number of such cases to 20 in South Korea.

The confirmation came a day after the wild boar carcass was found by soldiers in the central border town of Cheorwon, about 90 kilometers north of Seoul, according to the National Institute of Environmental Research.

South Korea has begun to mobilize hundreds of soldiers and civilians to hunt down wild boars near the border to try to contain spread of African swine fever.

In May, North Korea reported its first outbreak of the disease at a farm near its border with China to the World Organization for Animal Health. It remains unknown how the virus traveled into South Korea.

Separately, South Korea has confirmed 14 cases of African swine fever at local pig farms since Sept. 17, when the country confirmed its first case of the deadly hog disease at a farm near the border with North Korea. So far, all reported cases have been in areas bordering the North.

The animal disease does not affect humans but is deadly to pigs. There are currently no vaccines nor cures for the disease.

South Korea, Asia's fourth-biggest pork consumer, has slaughtered and buried more than 153,000 pigs since the outbreak started.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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