alt
Posted : 2014-03-26 18:54
Updated : 2014-03-26 19:20

Dogs' infection with bird flu poses no major threat

By Kim Se-jeong

Thirteen dogs developed antibodies to avian influenza, raised public concerns over people contracting the disease.


However, most experts say this is unlikely.

"Unlike the fatal H5N1 virus which can kill people, the H5N8 virus found in dogs has no record of human transmission. It is hard to say this virus will find its way into the population," said Sohn Tae-jong, a researcher in charge of studying the human implications of bird flu at the Korea Center for Disease Control.

"Please make sure to cook meat thoroughly. That should be enough," he added.

Both H5N1 and H5N8 are subtypes of avian influenza viruses.

H5N1 is the deadliest strain and is a a pandemic threat. This year's outbreak in Korea has solely been caused by H5N8, while H5N1 hit poultry farms in 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2010.

The center is closely monitoring farm owners for symptoms of possible infection.

A case involving 12 dogs was found in Buyeo, South Chungcheong Province.

Lee Jun-won, deputy minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs, said: "They were exposed to the virus, but did not contract it," meaning they did not have any symptoms.

This was the second exposure following one earlier this month; bringing the number of dogs with to antibodies 13.

All of the dogs were raised on farms and suspected of being fed raw poultry meat.

Sohn ruled out the possibility of transmission through the air. "So far, there's no evidence of air transmission.

Those who participated in the poultry culling are fine, showing no signs the virus in their bodies."

Studies on the avian influenza virus are ongoing as medical experts say there is a limit in predicting human infection.

"The H1N5 virus that killed people had mutated which was unprecedented. It changed its DNA to attack the human body. We don't know what exactly caused the DNA change. With the H5N8, we have not seen that happen, but there's no way for us to determine that it cannot occur," Sohn said.


  • 1. Man catches monstrous carp, nets $10,000
  • 2. New ad queen title goes to military idol girl
  • 3. Dead woman's ashes turn into fireworks
  • 4. What is behind N. Korea's hostile behavior?
  • 5. Indian soccer player dies after goal celebration goes tragically wrong
  • 6. Ebola conspiracy theories abound
  • 7. Park's popularity dips
  • 8. Roof-jumping thief dies from fall
  • 9. One in four rape victims in Seoul is a teen
  • 10. Migrant farm workers suffer abusive treatment
Copy editors wanted
Experienced reporters wanted