The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Ji Young-mi is advising precautions be taken to avoid contracting mosquito-borne infectious diseases when visiting Southeast Asia, as the first case of Zika virus infection was recently confirmed this year following the continuous occurrence of dengue fever and chikungunya fever among visitors to Southeast Asia.
Although dengue fever, chikungunya fever, and Zika virus infections are caused by different viruses, they are all infectious diseases transmitted by the bite of infected Aedes aegypti mosquitoes.
Three types of imported mosquito-borne infectious diseases occur each year in about 100 countries in subtropical and tropical regions around the world, and all 10 countries in Southeast Asia are countries where mosquito vectors and mosquito-borne infectious diseases have been reported–Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Laos, Singapore, Cambodia, Brunei, Myanmar.
The first confirmed case of Zika virus infection was a woman in her 50s who visited Indonesia in February of this year and was bitten by a mosquito. After returning to Korea in early March, symptoms such as fatigue, high fever, rash, and conjunctivitis continued, so she visited a medical institution and Zika was confirmed.
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Of the 35 confirmed cases of dengue fever reported from January of this year to the present, the most cases were infected after visiting Vietnam (12 cases), followed by Indonesia (9 cases), the Philippines (5 cases), Thailand and Malaysia (each 2), followed by Laos, Singapore, India, and Bolivia (1 each).
Chikungunya fever occurred in 5 patients this year, and infection was confirmed after visiting Thailand (4 patients) and the Philippines (1 patient).
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