South Korea Reports HPAI Outbreak


ProMed Mail documented a case of highly pathogenic avian influenza in a flock of 10,000 ducks in North Jeolla Province.  This was the 18th confirmed case involving poultry farms during the winter of 2021.  Authorities have imposed a quarantine in the infected zone and have implemented surveillance.


South Korea has largely restocked farms depleted during the severe HPAI epornitic of 2020. During the past three months, there has been a sharp decline in demand for egg products and cessation of imports of shell eggs by South Korea. If H5N1 HPAI infection introduced by migratory birds is not controlled, exports of shell eggs and egg products to South Korea from the U.S. will resume in greater quantity. 


Given the frequency and the extent of HPAI outbreaks due to AI virus being introduced by migratory birds on a seasonal basis, South Korea and other Asian and some European nations should consider adopting vaccination as a preventive policy and live with the disease. Annual reintroduction is not conducive to an expensive “stamping out” approach.