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African swine fever virus confirmed in foods brought from China in South Korea

Staff Writer | August 28, 2018
African swine fever virus has been confirmed in foods brought in from China early this month, but the possibility of its spread is low because the foods were cooked, officials said.
Asia   The virus is unlikely to have spread
Minister Hong Nam-ki, chief of the Office for Government Policy Coordination, made the remark during an interagency meeting held to discuss preventive measures following the discovery of a gene of the virus in dumplings and other foods brought in on Aug. 3 on a flight from the Chinese city of Shenyang, one of the regions affected by the virus.

"As the result of an antigen test on the livestock products brought in by a tourist to China, it has been confirmed to be African swine fever," Hong said at the start of the meeting. "It will take a few more day to confirm the exact strain of the virus, but it will be coming soon."

Despite the confirmation, agriculture ministry officials said that the virus is unlikely to have spread because it isn't believed to have been alive when it was brought in and the foods were cooked.

Monday's meeting, which will be attended by officials from the agriculture ministry, the interior ministry, the foreign ministry, the environment ministry and other related agencies, was expected to check the situation and discuss measures to deal with the disease.

"African swine fever is spreading in China. As China has a great deal of exchanges of people and goods, there is a possibility of the virus flowing into the country," Hong said. "We have to further strengthen preventive quarantine at borders.

The virus does not affect people, but virulent strains are often fatal to pigs of all ages, leading to cullings of the infected animals. No cure or vaccine has been developed for the virus so far.

A breakout could lead to massive damage to the country's livestock industry.