An Outbreak of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza at a Public Animal Exhibit in Seoul, Korea, During 2008


H. Yoon. Veterinary Epidemiology Division, National Veterinary Research and Quarantine Service, 335 Joongang-ro, Manan-gu, Anyang, Gyeonggi-do, 430-824 Republic of Korea. Tel.: +82 31 467 1943; Fax: +82 31 467 1739;


This study describes the first recorded outbreak of HPAI in the city of Seoul, in captive birds held in an exhibition for public viewing at a local district office. The index cases were two pheasants, which had been introduced into the exhibit on 24 April, 4 days prior to death, from a store in a local market in Gyeonggi-do. Ducks and chickens from an HPAI outbreak farm, subsequently confirmed on 4 May, had also been held in this store. This outbreak highlights the potential role of local markets in AIV transmission. This outbreak led to considerable public health concern in Korea, however, no human cases were reported. The non-commercial poultry sector needs to be considered in national plans for preparedness and response.