(LEAD) Over 90 pct of cattle vaccinated against lumpy skin disease

SEOUL, More than 90 percent of cattle in South Korea have been vaccinated against lumpy skin disease (LSD), the agriculture ministry said Monday, as there have been signs that the spread of the viral disease is letting up.

The authorities have inoculated more than 3.11 million out of the country's 4.08 million cows so far to protect them against LSD, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

The government launched the intensive vaccination campaign last month after reporting its first-ever case of LSD on Oct. 20 under the plan to vaccinate all cattle by this coming Friday.

The country has since confirmed 79 cases nationwide, with the latest case from the western city of Dangjin, and authorities are conducting an in-depth analysis of two suspected cases, the ministry said.

The spread of the viral disease has slowed down, with the daily number of newly confirmed cases falling from more than 10 last month to around two from late last week.

"It is too early to say that the virus situation is stable, as we need to consider variants and other factors," senior ministry official Ahn Yong-duk said.

"But I think the vaccination campaign would help us better manage the situation, and the government will continue all-out efforts to stem the spread of the disease," he added.

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