N Korea issues guidelines to prevent spread of bird flu

31-Dec-2016 Intellasia | NK News | 6:00 AM Print This Post

The North Korean government is increasingly concerned over the growing avian influenza (also known as bird flu) epidemic in East Asia, state-run media indicated on Thursday.

But preventive methods issued by media remain primitive, suggesting that an outbreak of H7N9 avian flu – which has a 40 percent fatality rate – in the country could have a disastrous effect.

“If one is infected with the bird flu… within one to two days, one will suffer from high fever and headache, followed by coughing and sputum,” the North Korean ruling party organ Rodong Sinmun said on Thursday.

“One would have to adapt many methods accordingly, including maintaining a high level of hygiene and working out to increase the resistance, as well as gargling with salt water and drinking garlic juice.”

Pyongyang so far has remained silent about whether the country is suffering from any form of bird flu outbreak.

But it is frequently updating readers on the status of the outbreak of the disease in South Korea, with 24 articles published this month with the keywords “South Korea” and “bird flu”.

South Korea has seen the worst spate bird flu cases in ten years, with some 26 million poultry being culled after the H5N6 strain was detected in public places. There are yet to be any reported cases of humans contracting the disease.

Apart from the preventive methods suggested above, the North Korean government did not provide any other information, such as how citizens should act or where to report to if they suspect they are infected with the disease.

Rodong did not report that the H7N9 avian flu is confirmed to have about 40 percent of fatality rate. So far at least 324 out of 808 cases of infection have died, a Hong Kong government report said.

The disease was reported to have killed two people in Anhui province, China, out of five that were infected.

Recent Chinese deaths or other cases of infection in North Korea’s neighbour have not been covered by Rodong or by any other North Korean media so far.

There have been no reports of the H7N9 avian flu infection in South Korea, or it being found in South Korean soil as yet.

North Korea most recently made an outbreak of bird flu public in April 2014, the third time it had done so after cases in February 2005 and April 2013.

In response Pyongyang organised a national emergency committee to take preventive measures against the epidemic, by blocking traffic, disinfection, and burying dead animals.

Pyongyang in 2005 asked for aid from Seoul, with South Korea providing disinfectant against the flu. Pyongyang did not ask for Seoul’s help in 2013 or 2014.

In October 2014, North Korea closed its borders for months in an effort to prevent the Ebola virus from entering the country. The quarantine lasted until the following year, preventing foreigners from participating in the Pyongyang Marathon.



Category: Korea

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