SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea confirmed an additional outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease Tuesday, bringing the total number of outbreaks in two weeks to five.
Four cows at a farm in Yeoncheon, north of Seoul, tested positive for the disease, Agriculture Ministry official Kim Dae-gyun said, prompting quarantine officials to prepare to slaughter 35 cows on the farm. Quarantine workers also plan to slaughter 28 cows on a separate nearby farm as a precaution, said Kim.
The latest outbreak site is about 5.6 miles (9 kilometers) away from a farm in Pocheon, north of Seoul, where six cows were confirmed to have been infected with the disease on Jan. 7 — South Korea's first outbreak since May 2002, Kim said.
South Korea has so far slaughtered some 3,400 animals since that outbreak to prevent the spread of the disease, said Kim.
Foot-and-mouth disease is often fatal for cloven-hoofed animals including cows, sheep, pigs and goats, causing blisters on the mouth and feet. It does not affect humans.
The disease last hit South Korea in 2002 when some 160,000 pigs either died of the disease or were slaughtered to prevent its spread. (AP)