South Korea: Status of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in South Korea

On November 16, 2016, South Korea reported an outbreak of the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) H5N6 that has since continued to spread rapidly. One case of H5N8, which is the strain of virus that had been found in Korea in the past, was also confirmed on December 18, 2016. On December 16, 2016, the South Korean government raised the crisis warning level to “serious,” the highest level on this scale. This is the first time that the Korean government has raised the warning level to “serious.” This designation invokes a more intense government response. As a result, the government will begin monitoring all roads across the country to prevent the transportation of poultry; more preemptive disinfections will occur; and the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (MAFRA) will have more authority to close poultry farms, slaughter plants and feed factories. As of the night of December 18, Korean farmers had reported 92 cases of HPAI, resulting in the culling of over 16.7 million birds on 344 farms.

South Korea: Status of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in South Korea