Mysterious Dengue Fever Case 'Could Be Homegrown'

      November 10, 2011 13:40

      Korea could see its first outbreak of dengue fever, which is common in tropical and semi-tropical regions, health authorities warned Wednesday. The country has seen 60 to 100 dengue fever patients every year, but all of them were infected abroad.

      The symptoms of the mosquito-borne virus, depending on the strain, are fever, headache and muscle ache, and rash. In severe cases it can lead to shock and internal bleeding.

      But the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday said it cannot rule out the possibility that a 32-year-old woman who was diagnosed with the virus in July was infected in Korea. It said it is testing mosquitoes and finding out whether there are other patients.

      The woman, from South Gyeongsang Province, fell ill on June 9, suffering fever, cold shakes, headache, muscle ache and a rash that spread to cover her whole body.

      She had spent a week in Indonesia, but her symptoms began 39 days after she came back, much longer than the average latency period for dengue fever of 14 days. There has been no case reported among dengue fever patients in Korea since 2001 where the latent period was longer than 14 days.

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