|Workers fumigate vehicles entering Papyeong in Paju, Gyeonggi Province, where an additional African swine fever case was confirmed at a farm there, Wednesday. / Yonhap|
By Kim Jae-heun
Two more cases of African swine fever (ASF) were confirmed Wednesday, raising the number of farms afflicted with the highly infectious diseases to 11 nationwide.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said it found one new infection while inspecting a farm at Jeokseong in Paju, Gyeonggi Province, where pigs at another farm had previously tested positive for the contagious disease Sept. 24. Paju is where the deadly virus was first confirmed, Sept. 17
The first new case was first reported Tuesday as the provincial government was calling owners of farms in the province to check on the condition of their pigs. The local government found that pigs on the farm were fed with leftover food and there was no fence to protect the livestock from wild boars ― two possible vectors for the spread of the virus. The farm had not been included in the authorities' quarantine system because it was an unregistered one.
The authorities conducted tests and confirmed this was the 11th infection.
Earlier the same day, the ministry confirmed the 10th ASF case in Papyeong, while another suspected case was later reported at a farm in Munsan, both in Paju.
Following the 10th confirmation, the quarantine authorities ordered a "standstill" for pig farms, feed factories and slaughterhouses for 48 hours starting 3:30 a.m.in Gyeonggi and Gangwon provinces, and Incheon.
They will also cull all pigs at both farms where ASF was confirmed.
The farm in Papyeong has about 2,400 pigs, but there are 12,120 swine being raised in nine other farms within a radius of 3 kilometers. Eighteen pigs were at the farm in Jeokseong, with 2,585 more in two farms within a 3-kilometer radius.
To date almost 110,000 pigs have been slaughtered due to ASF, or nearly 1 percent of the country's total pig numbers.
Meanwhile, Paju local government has canceled tour programs to the demilitarized zone (DMZ) to prevent any further spread of ASF. Until the disease is eradicated, all tourist attractions, including Dora Observatory, the Third North Korean Infiltration Tunnel and Mount Dorasan, will be closed.
The government will also suspend sightseeing in the city including the Culture and Eco Trail Program around the Imjin River.
The highly contagious ASF is only fatal for pigs and does not affect humans, however, there is no cure for the disease and slaughtering the affected livestock has been the only viable option to prevent it from spreading.