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1 "Transboundary transmission"
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Original Article
A small window into the status of malaria in North Korea: estimation of imported malaria incidence among visitors from South Korea
Jisun Sung, Hae-Kwan Cheong, Ah-Young Lim, Jong-Hun Kim
Epidemiol Health. 2020;42:e2020068.   Published online November 21, 2020
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2020068
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AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDF
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.
Summary
Korean summary
본 연구는 2000-2008년 금강산을 여행한 대한민국 국민과 2005-2015년 개성공단에서 근무한 대한민국 국민에서의 말라리아 발생률을 추정하여 국제사회에 보고된 북한의 말라리아 발생률과 비교 평가하였다. 향후 남북한의 교류가 활성화 되었을 때 북한을 방문하고 돌아온 국민에서의 말라리아 발생률 자료를 사용하여 북한 현지에서의 말라리아 발생률 현황 추이를 살펴볼 수 있을 것으로 보인다.

Epidemiol Health : Epidemiology and Health