Sunday, January 9, 2011

H5N1 Avian Influenza

On January 7, 2011, the Korea Times reported a confirmed outbreak of bird flu at a duck farm in South Jeolla Province.  The strain is reported to be the H5N1 avian influenza, increasing concerns that the disease is rapidly spreading throughout Korea.  Other outbreaks have been reported in Iksan, North Jeolla Province, and Cheonan, North Chungcheong Province.  As a protective mreasure all 14,500 birds on the farm and 84,400 birds on four other farms within a 500-meter radius have been culled.

To me, the influence of the viral disease in animals is extremely interesting.  The concern is always for the further protection of humans, not really with the animals’ interest in mind, especially because these are farm raised animals.  In addition, the interplay of the economy with the outbreaks are crucial for the government to be aware of.  So it is never just an issue of public health, but many other societal factors as well. 

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