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News Article

Chronic wasting disease in South Korea

In South Korea chronic wasting disease has been detected in 4 elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni)

In South Korea chronic wasting disease has been detected in 4 elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni). The infected animals were the offspring of elk reared on a farm in southern Kyungsang province after being brought in from Canada, the Agricultural Ministry said in a statement on Saturday 20 November 2004. As a result quarantine controls have been strengthened nationwide. The Government has ordered the destruction of the other 78 deer on the farm.

It is the second outbreak of chronic wasting disease in South Korea. Apart from Korea, the disease has only been recorded in the USA and Canada. It affects deer and elk and is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy with similarities to scrapie and BSE. The only other record of the disease in Korea was in 2001 when country's 2nd outbreak of CWD, which disrupts the nervous system.

The first case of CWD in Korea (the first case outside north America) involved a 7-year-old male elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni) that was clinically suspected (a 3-week history of body weight loss, emaciation, excessive salivation, teeth grinding, fever, anorexia, and respiratory distress), killed, and necropsied. For details see: Hyun-Joo Sohn et al (2002). A Case of Chronic Wasting Disease in an Elk Imported to Korea from Canada; . Journal of Veterinary Medical Science 64, 9, 855-858. [http://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/jvms/64/9/855/_pdf].

There is no evidence of CWD's transmission to humans or to other animals.

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