SEOUL-- South Korea will step up quarantine measures against bird flu as a suspected case was reported in the country's southern region earlier this week, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said Sunday

The H5 strain of the bird flu was discovered at a farm with around 12,300 ducks in Gochang, 296 kilometers southwest of Seoul on Saturday, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said

Following its discovery, health authorities issued a warning that banned local poultry farmers from visiting the wintering grounds of migratory birds and ordered the culling of 12,300 chickens at the affected farm as a preventive measure.

The result of an epidemiological investigation into the case to see if the virus is highly pathogenic is expected out by Tuesday, the ministry said.

Low-pathogenic AI strains cause only mild symptoms and may easily go undetected, while highly pathogenic subtypes spread rapidly across poultry farms and cause serious problems, experts said.

Source: Yonhap News Agency