Via The Korea Times: Bird flu virus found in wild geese. Excerpt:
Three migratory wild geese found dead at a reservoir in avian influenza-stricken North Jeolla Province were confirmed Wednesday to be infected with the H5N8 virus.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (MAFRA) said it confirmed the H5N8 strain of avian influenza infection in the bodies of the geese found at Dongrim Reservoir, where some 60 H5N8-infected Baikal teal ― a species of migratory duck ― were found dead earlier this week.
The government suspects the ducks as the vector for the spread of bird flu and has focused disinfection activities on wintering grounds for Baikal teals, including the reservoir and Geumgang Lake in Gunsan in the same province.
However, after the discovery of the infected geese, authorities fear the virus could have been spread nationwide because the birds use the whole peninsula as their winter habitat, unlike the ducks.
Baikal teals pass winter in limited numbers of habitats in the western part of the country, according to the ministry.
It said officials began counting the number of geese from Tuesday, but admitted there were setbacks in tracking and monitoring the migratory birds.
"The government will continue to do its utmost, but there clearly is a limit to monitoring the movement of migratory birds," Kwon Jae-han, an official at MAFRA, said at a press briefing.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the ministry was conducting tests on a black coot and swans found dead in Geumgang Lake, suspecting that they may also have been infected by the avian flu strain.
Also, tests were ongoing for a mallard duck and a spot-billed duck found dead on Jeju Island. If those birds are confirmed infected by the virus, it will be the first outbreak of avian influenza outside North Jeolla Province, which the ministry has already designated as a “danger zone.”
The number of confirmed outbreaks jumped to eight as of early Wednesday, out of a total 14 poultry farms whose birds are being tested. Five of them were found to be affected by the highly pathogenic H5N8 virus; tests are ongoing for the remaining three. Six farms are awaiting results to see if their poultry have been infected.