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577 Dogs Culled to Limit Spread of H5N1 in South Korean
Recombinomics Commentary
November 26,  2006

Following guidelines approved by the National Security Council, the government began culling 236,000 chickens and ducks at six farms within a 500-meter radius of the initially infected farm in Iksan, North Cholla Province. The measures also include slaughtering 300 pigs and 577 dogs in the area.

The authorities expanded the boundaries of the surveillance zone to a 10-kilometer radius of the outbreak site, and they are planning to give orders to conduct extra culling based on test results on livestock within the 3-kilometer radius quarantine zone.
The above comments describe aggressive culling in an effort to halt the spread of H5N1 in South Korea.  The OIE report of November 22, 2006 indicated HPAI was suspected, based on PCR data.  The above culling indicated H5N1 was confirmed, and it is likely that the Qinghai strain of H5N1 has been detected.  The Qinghai strain has been associated with the deaths of many mammalian species, including humans, stone martin, fox, dog, and cat.  H5N1 has been isolated and
sequenced from human, cat, and fox.  The dog and fox H5N1 sequences from Azerbaijhan are unique, but have been withheld by the WHO affiliated Weybridge lab.
The recent Nature publication on receptor bind domain changes indicated changes were found in human cases in Azerbaijan and Iraq, but the sequences have also been hoarded in the private WHO database.
The culling in Korea signals a serious outbreak.  The parallels with the December, 2003 outbreak are unavoidable.  That outbreak was followed by an explosion of H5N1 and human fatalities in Vietnam and Thailand in early 2004 was well as H5N1 detection in Japan, Laos, Cambodia, Indonesia, and provinces throughout China in early 2004.
Although the H5N1 sequence database has significantly expanded with sequences between 2003 and 2006, WHO affiliated labs continue to hoard thousands of sequences including over 3500 collected in the past 12 months.
These sequences should be released immediately by removing the password protection at the Los Alamos database, as was done for the human H5N1 sequences from Indonesia in August.

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