South Korea to downgrade bird flu alert from highest level

South Korean health officials preparing to bury chickens at a chicken farm in the south-eastern city of Ulsan after the bird flu virus hit a nearby aviary on June 16, 2017.
South Korean health officials preparing to bury chickens at a chicken farm in the south-eastern city of Ulsan after the bird flu virus hit a nearby aviary on June 16, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

SEOUL (REUTERS) - South Korea will downgrade its bird flu alert by one notch from the highest level on Friday (July 28), the government said.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural affairs on Thursday (July 27) said in a statement that the risk from highly pathogenic bird flu had dropped, with no new cases reported since June 19.

South Korea, Asia's fourth-largest economy, was hit hard by the deadly H5N8 bird flu strain after the first case was confirmed in November, leading to a record culling of over 37 million farm birds, or more than a fifth of its total poultry population.

The ministry said it would keep disinfecting farms and monitoring the situation until September. 

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