Health Authorities Warn of Japanese Encephalitis

  • By Bae Jun-yong

    March 23, 2021 13:06

    The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency issued a nationwide advisory against Japanese encephalitis on Monday. The KDCA said it found the mosquito that transmits the disease, Culex tritaeniorhynchus, on Jeju Island.

    The KDCA samples mosquitos captured in 61 locations across the country and issues an advisory when Culex tritaeniorhynchus are found. The KDCA said this year's advisory comes around four days earlier than last year's as global warming appears to have sped up their appearance.

    A total of 224 people caught Japanese encephalitis in Korea over the last 11 years and 34 died. Each year, an average of 20 people are afflicted by the disease and three die, which translates into a fatality rate of around 15 percent. But being bitten by the mosquitos does not always lead to sickness.

    "Infections occur when bitten by a carrier mosquito and only one out of 250 cases develops into acute encephalitis," the KDCA said. "But caution is needed since 20 to 30 percent of acute cases can lead to death."

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