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H5N1 Spread in Eastern South Korea
Recombinomics Commentary 13:30
May 1, 2008
The government said Wednesday that it will temporarily halt the sale of ducks and chickens in traditional open markets to prevent the further spread of bird flu in the country.
A suspected bird flu case has been reported in Busan while two more outbreaks in the southeastern region of South Korea have been confirmed as virulent strains of the avian influenza, the government said Thursday.
The above comments describe the record spread of H5N1 in South Korea, including new outbreaks in the southeast (see satellite map). Over 6 million birds have been culled and the sale of birds at open markets has been suspended.
The outbreaks are likely linked to wild bird migration. Whooper swans have tested positive in Japan this week The affected regions in southern Korea are under a whooper swan flyway from Mongolia. Last season, the H5N1 in South Korea and presumably Japan, were closely related to clade 2.2 H5N1 from a summer of 2006 outbreak at the largest lake in Mongolia, Uvs Lake. The clade 2.2.3 strain linked to Uvs Lake has also spread throughout Europe and the Middle East.
Japan has recently announced the activation of a pre-pandemic vaccine plan that begins with first responders and may include 10-20 million citizens. Similarly, the United States has ordered up to 38.5 million doses of a vaccine targeting clade 2.2 isolate from a bar-headed goose. Clade 2.2 is linked to migratory birds and reported in over 50 countries west of China, including those in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.
Recombinomics Paper at Nature Precedings