SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea on Wednesday confirmed two additional cases of African swine fever at pig farms in Paju, a town near its border with North Korea, the country’s agriculture ministry said, bringing its total number of cases of the disease to eleven.
South Korea is still looking into the source of the virus, but all of the cases have been found on hog farms near its border with North Korea, which reported an outbreak in May.
South Korea has been on its highest alert after its first outbreak of the deadly hog disease on Sept. 17, ramping up disinfection measures and putting a temporary nationwide ban on the transport of hogs and related livestock.
South Korea has also ordered hundreds of soldiers manning the demilitarized zone (DMZ) at its border with North Korea to track and capture wild boars to prevent the spread of the fever, which is deadly to pigs but does not harm humans.
South Korea will be culling another 17,126 pigs following the most recent cases, which will bring the total number of pigs to be culled since the first discovery of African swine fever in the country to about 115,000, according to the agriculture ministry.
This would make up nearly 1% of South Korea’s total pig herd of 12.3 million.
(Reporting by Heekyong Yang; Additional reporting by Josh Smith and Jane Chung; Editing by Tom Hogue)