An outbreak of highly pathogenic H5N8 avian influenza has struck a farm in South Korea, killing an estimated 1,200 ducks that were being raised for meat. All other susceptible birds at the farm, amounting to 19,800 ducks, were destroyed.

The avian influenza outbreak was confirmed by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) on September 25, after a South Korean Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency national laboratory conducted tests on the affected animals. All tests that were done by the agency came back positive.

The source of the South Korean H5N8 avian influenza outbreak is not yet known, and the veterinary authority is still in the process of implementing an epidemiological survey.

Control measures used by animal health experts included stamping out, control of wildlife reservoirs, quarantine, movement control within the country, zoning and disinfection of the infected premises. No vaccination was administered at the farm and affected animals were not treated, the OIE stated in its report.

A previous occurrence of H5N8 in the country had been reported on September 9, according to the OIE report.

South Korea had already been troubled by H5N8, as the virus struck a National Institute of Animal Science campus in March.

The OIE stated that the case is ongoing and it would submit additional reports to follow up on the latest South Korean avian influenza outbreak.