S. Korea growing vulnerable to dengue fever, Chikungunya virus: expert

An article from The Korea Herald
October 11, 2015
South Korea is becoming more vulnerable to specific infectious diseases -- dengue fever and Chikungunya virus -- partly because of the nation’s climate change, a medical doctor specializing in epidemics said.
 
According to Dr. Kim Woo-joo, the head of the Korean Society of Infectious Diseases, Korea’s warmer temperatures and heavier rainfall in recent years may have increased the rate of human infection of dengue fever, a mosquito-borne tropical disease. Such warmer, humid weather makes it easier for mosquitoes to breed, Kim added at a medical forum held in the U.S. on Saturday.
 
From 2013-2014, two Koreans developed dengue fever in the country. Also, 415 individuals arrived in Korea after contracting the disease overseas in the same period.
 
There is currently no specific medicine or antibiotic to treat dengue fever, which causes symptoms such as fever, muscle and joint pain, intense headache and vomiting. Last year, Japan battled its first outbreak of dengue fever in almost 70 years, with more than 70 people confirmed as being infected. The cases were believed to have been contracted among visitors to Tokyo’s popular Yoyogi Park. 
 
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