In this file:


         South Korea confirms 2 more swine fever cases

         Two more Gyeonggi farms get swine fever (includes link to S.Korea outbreak locations map)

         South Korea suspends Panmunjom tours in DMZ as part of efforts to contain African swine fever



South Korea confirms 2 more swine fever cases


San Francisco Chronicle 

Oct. 2, 2019


SEOUL, South Korea (AP) South Korea on Wednesday confirmed two additional cases of African swine fever near its border with North Korea despite heightened efforts to contain the epidemic that has wiped out pig populations across Asia.


The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said lab tests confirmed the country's 10th and 11th cases of the disease at two farms in Paju, a border town where the first infection was confirmed on Sept. 17.


Officials have been scrambling to halt the spread of the disease, disinfecting farms, trucks and roads, banning livestock movement and destroying some 93,500 pigs. They plan to slaughter at least 17,000 more pigs, including the animals at farms within a 3-kilometer (2-mile) radius of the two Paju farms were infections were newly confirmed.


The illness is harmless to humans but highly fatal for pigs. There is no effective vaccine or treatment.


Officials have yet to determine where the disease came from, but a likely source is North Korea, which reported an outbreak near its border with China in May.


North Korea in recent months has suspended virtually all cooperation with the South amid a standstill in nuclear negotiations with the United States, which complicated efforts to prevent the disease from reaching the inter-Korean border area.


In a closed-door parliamentary briefing last week, South Korean spy chief Suh Hoon used charts to explain that the disease has spread to nearly all parts of North Korea, according to lawmakers who attended the session...





Two more Gyeonggi farms get swine fever


By Chae Yun-Hwan, Korea JoongAng Daily

Oct 03,2019


Two new cases of African swine fever (ASF) were confirmed Wednesday in Paju, Gyeonggi, the original outbreak site, eight days after the last confirmed case in the region.


The confirmations brought the total number of infected sites to 11. The government ordered a new 48-hour lockdown, effective until 3:30 a.m. on Friday, on pig farms, slaughterhouses, feed factories and related vehicles in Gyeonggi, Gangwon and Incheon.


According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, the 10th infected site reported suspicions of the disease on Tuesday after one female pig died and four other pigs showed signs of appetite loss, a symptom of the disease. The illness on the 11th farm was identified during a precautionary government inspection on Tuesday.


The new sites are close to a Paju farm confirmed to be infected with ASF on Sept. 24 - 7.8 kilometers (4.8 miles) away in the case of the 10th farm and 5.2 kilometers in the case of the 11th.


The government is set to cull over 14,000 pigs at the 10th site and at nine farms within a 3-kilometer radius and 2,603 pigs at the 11th confirmed site and two farms in its proximity.


That will bring the total number of pigs culled since the outbreak began to over 110,000, or 1 percent of the total number of pigs in Korea.


The latest confirmations heighten concerns that the disease could still be spreading. The ninth infected farm was confirmed on Sept. 27 in Ganghwa County in Incheon.


Paju had been under strong containment measures as the original outbreak site. The region came under multiple 48-hour lockdowns and had been designated a special management region, undergoing extensive fumigation measures.


The virus has only infected farms in the northern parts of Gyeonggi.


On Sunday the government was on full alert when a farm in South Chungcheong was suspected of being infected. However, the test results were negative. The spread of the virus to South Chungcheong would have been serious as 20 percent of the pigs raised in Korea are raised in the province.


Individuals who violate the lockdown face a one-year prison sentence or a fine of up to 10 million won ($8,300).


The government even ordered a ban on guns to poach wild boar in the border area, in case the hunting encouraged infected wild animals to roam further...


more, including outbreak map/table



South Korea suspends Panmunjom tours in DMZ as part of efforts to contain African swine fever


By Erin Handley in Seoul, ABC News Australia

Oct 2, 2019


Tourists have been cut off from visiting the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) separating North and South Korea in an effort to contain an outbreak of African swine fever.


South Korea's unification ministry yesterday announced it was stopping tourists from entering the inter-Korean border village of Panmunjom in the DMZ amid fears the contagious disease could spread.


The Government said it "will exert utmost efforts to resume Panmunjom tours at the earliest possible date".


African swine fever is fatal in pigs but is not harmful to humans.


Several cases have been reported in the northern parts of South Korea after it spread from China to North Korea.


DMZ tour guide Erica Kim told the ABC she had to cancel tours for thousands of visitors at short notice.


"We can't pass the civilian control zone [near the DMZ]."


"Because the DMZ is a top tourist destination there are millions of tourists to the DMZ each year [the Government is] concerned the disease could spread to the other countries."


'We can't shoot them' ...