SEJONG, - South Korean health authorities revealed a significant vaccination initiative targeting the nation's cattle population on Wednesday, in an attempt to curb the spread of lumpy skin disease. The disease has seen a rise in confirmed cases to 29 since its first-ever outbreak in the country last Friday.
According to a news release by Yonhap News Agency, the plan aims to vaccinate all cattle in the nation by early next month. The ministry is currently in negotiations to secure 4 million vaccine doses. The ministry added that if the vaccination program proceeds without interruption, outbreaks should stabilize within November.
In addition to vaccinations, health authorities and local governments are increasing efforts to prevent the disease from spreading further. Measures include the mobilization of disinfection facilities and restrictions on livestock transportation. South Chungcheong Province, the first region to report a confirmed case, is operating 19 disinfection facilities and 12 control posts.
Meanwhile, Anseong, the largest cattle producer in the greater Seoul region, is taking extra precautions despite no confirmed cases yet. The city is home to over 1,600 farms raising 100,000 head of cattle. The government also intends to ban the movement of cattle out of infected areas until the completion of the vaccination program.
Health authorities are currently investigating the origins of the virus in the country, including the possibility of infected mosquitoes being transported by air currents or ships. The disease is highly infectious among cattle and buffalo and causes skin lesions, fever, and loss of appetite.