South Korea raises bird flu alert to highest level for first time

South Korea's agriculture ministry raised the country's bird flu alert status to the highest level for the first time on Thursday as the disease has spread quickly nationwide.

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The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said in a statement that it will come up with detailed measures after consulting with related ministries.

Since the first bird flu case was reported about a month ago, the country, Asia's fourth-largest economy, has culled over 12 percent of its total poultry population to contain the spread of the deadly virus.