Foot-and-mouth disease spreads faster in S Korea

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SEOUL. December 24. KAZINFORM Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) appears to be spreading faster in South Korea as two more cases of the high contagious were confirmed in the countries on Friday.

The newest cases were found at a pig farm in Ganghwa Island on the west coast of the country and a small cattle farm in Hoengseong, Gyeonggi Province respectively, according to Seoul's Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

The outbreak in Hoengseong is the second to be confirmed in the country, which has been seen as one of the top production areas for Hanwoo, or homegrown Korean cattle.

The ministry said it has ordered to cull all livestocks in the two effected farms and in farms within a 500-meter radius.

To prevent further spread of the contagion, the ministry said on Thursday that it will vaccinate animals in five areas.

The vaccination will begin on Dec. 25 with 800 personnel from 200 teams taking on the task. The second vaccination process will start one month after the first shots are administered, and about 133,000 cattle will be subject to the vaccination in the first process, according to the ministry.

South Korea has so far confirmed 48 cases of FMD in the country in the wake of the devastating outbreak of the disease, and culled near 280,000 livestock.

South Korea, which reported its first case of foot-and-mouth disease in 2000, was hit again in 2002 and two more times earlier this year.

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