Bird Flu in South Korea

South Korea’s farm ministry said Saturday that bird flu did not cause the spike in dead ducks at a local poultry farm earlier in the week.

“Detailed tests using hemagglutinin showed no traces of the virulent H5N1 avian influenza virus,” it said.

The farm in Icheon some 80 kilometers east of Seoul reported 110 dead birds from Sunday through Tuesday, causing local quarantine authorities to seal off the immediate area and prevent movement of all birds.

Vehicle and human traffic were also subject to decontamination to prevent the spread of the disease.

The agriculture ministry said it has lifted all restrictions imposed for the past few days and withdrawn its quarantine team.

The latest false alarm comes as Seoul has been carefully monitoring its poultry farms for signs of another bird flu outbreak. The country reported containing an outbreak in April of last year after the birds started dying off en masse in late December 2010. This forced the government to cull more than 6.27 million birds across the country.

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