South Korea confirmed an additional bird flu case at a duck farm in the central part of the country on Saturday.

Tests showed that the 12,400 birds at a poultry farm in Cheonan, 92 kilometers south of Seoul, were infected with the virulent H5N1 strain of the avian influenza (AI), the National Veterinary Research and Quarantine Service (NVRQS) said.

This is the second case of the highly pathogenic avian influenza reported in the country this month as the number of AI cases has started to fall off in recent weeks. It is also the first AI confirmation in Cheonan in 33 days.

All ducks on the farm will be culled with quarantine authorities asking nearby farms to be vigilant on protecting their birds.

The latest case marks the 49th bird flu outbreak confirmed in the country since suspected cases were first reported on Dec. 29, the NVRQS said. The government has since culled more than 6.04 million birds in six provinces across the country.

Prior to the latest series of outbreaks, South Korea was hit by AI three times, with the last case occurring in April 2008 and resulting in the culling of 3.45 million birds. Other outbreaks took place in the winter months of 2003-2004 and 2006-2007.

Source: Yonhap News Agency