Feb. 10 (UPI) -- Cases of foot-and-mouth disease at cattle farms in South Korea is raising concerns the country may experience a devastating epidemic that could spread to hog farms.
At least two strains of the disease have been reported this week, according to Yonhap.
An A-type virus strain was most recently identified at a farm not too far from Seoul. On Tuesday, an O-type virus strain was found in central South Korea.
News of the virus has prompted a quick response from the government.
According to one provincial authority, 252,000 out of 486,000 cows have been vaccinated against both the A-type and O-type strains.
While vaccines are in sufficient supply to inoculate the majority of cattle, about 94,000 of the 486,000 bovines may only be vaccinated against the O-type virus, due to a shortage of the more comprehensive treatment that protects cattle against both strains.
There are strong concerns the disease could spread to hog farms.
Foot-and-mouth disease spreads faster among pigs, because they have lower antibody formation rates than cattle.
South Korea is vaccinating the animals with the O-type virus to prevent a pandemic, local newspaper Segye Ilbo reported.
Some experts are worried the pigs are not being protected against the A-type virus strain.
From 2010 to 2011, South Korea had to eliminate 332,000 pigs and 150,000 cows due to a foot-and-mouth epidemic.