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A small window into the status of malaria in North Korea: estimation of imported malaria incidence among visitors from South Korea

Epidemiology and Health 2020년 42권 1호 p.68 ~ 68
성지선, 정해관, 임아영, 김종헌,
소속 상세정보
성지선 ( Sung Ji-Sun ) - Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine Department of Social and Preventive Medicine
정해관 ( Cheong Hae-Kwan ) - Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine Department of Social and Preventive Medicine
임아영 ( Lim Ah-Young ) - Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine Department of Social and Preventive Medicine
김종헌 ( Kim Jong-Hun ) - Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine Department of Social and Preventive Medicine

Abstract


OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to develop hypotheses on trends in malaria incidence in North Korea using malaria incidence among South Korean visitors to North Korea.

METHODS: The number of South Korean tourists who visited Mount Kumgang from 2000 to 2008 and the number of South Korean employees at the Kaesong Industrial Complex from 2005 to 2015 were obtained from the Korean Statistical Information Service. The number of malaria cases among South Koreans who visited North Korea was obtained from a previous report. The incidence of malaria per 100,000 person-years was calculated using these data and compared with the malaria incidence in North Korea derived from published articles.

RESULTS: A high incidence of malaria in 2001 and a sharp decline in the following years were observed in both South and North Korean data. Since then, North Korean data showed a relatively low and stable incidence, but the incidence among South Koreans visiting North Korea increased in 2006. Considering the trends in mass primaquine preventive treatment, floods, and economic growth rate, the incidence of malaria may have increased in North Korea in 2006. Since 2009, the incidence of malaria decreased gradually according to both South and North Korean data.

CONCLUSIONS: The trends of malaria incidence in North Korea could be reflected through its incidence among South Koreans who visited North Korea. For future inter-Korean collaboration aiming to eradicate malaria, we propose that a North Korean malaria monitoring system be established applying this method.

키워드

Malaria; Plasmodium vivax; Transboundary transmission; Surveillance; Democratic People’s Republic of Korea; Republic of Korea

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