Fears grow in South Korea as tests confirm more swine fever

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea yesterday said it was intensifying efforts to clean farms around the country as it scrambles to contain the spread of the highly contagious African swine fever that has ravaged farms near its border with North Korea.

Lab tests Tuesday night confirmed the country’s fifth case since last week from a farm in Ganghwa, an island county near its border with North Korea, raising fears that the country is losing a battle to halt the spread of the illness that wiped out farm populations across Asia.

Officials yesterday were investigating another suspected case at a different farm in Ganghwa where two animals died and another had a miscarriage.

South Korea’s Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said hundreds of officials have been deployed to inspect disinfection efforts at farms, slaughter houses and feed mills nationwide, which came under a government-imposed 48-hour standstill as of noon on Tuesday.