(LEAD) Confirmed cases of lumpy skin disease in cattle rise to 27

SEOUL, Confirmed cases of lumpy skin disease in cattle rose to 27 in South Korea, officials said Tuesday, as health authorities were struggling to contain the spread of the animal disease.

South Korea reported its first-ever outbreak of the disease last Friday. Since then, confirmed cases have been on the rise.

Health authorities have begun vaccinating cattle in the affected areas.

Agriculture Minister Chung Hwang-keun has said the disease may further spread for the time being, because it takes some three weeks for vaccinated cattle to produce antibodies against the disease.

The disease, which does not affect humans, is a highly infectious disease that causes skin lesions, fever and loss of appetite, often leading to a fall in milk production and even death. It affects cattle and buffalo via mosquitoes and other blood-feeding insects.

Source: Yonhap News Agency