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Korean Journal of Epidemiology 2001;23(1): 1-22.
The Role of Epidemiology against Emerging and Reemerging Diseases.
Joung Soon Kim, Min Jung Ko
Department of Epidemiology, Graduate School of PublicHealth, Seoul National University.
Due to remarkable developments in technology and great efforts made by Health Organizations, most of infectious diseases had been under control. However, ecological changes and biological variations resulted in emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, which threaten the global health and may have the possibility of being abused as biological weapon. Therefore it is indispensable to understand the latest information and knowledge in order to cope with the emergency situation.
In Korea, several reemerging diseases such as Malaria, Hepatitis A, Shigellosis, Mumps, and food poisoning has been increasing conspicuously since 1990. Also Diphtheria, plague, yellow fever and dengue fever have been potential threats, considering substantial international trades.
There have many newly emerged and re-emerged infectious diseases identified in recent few decades in Korea. Thus as epidemiologic professionals, we have to get ready, particularly following missions to be carried out : 1) to keep eyes open to look for emerging and reemerging diseases continuously and keep up the latest global information, 2) establish the co-operational organizations to prepare immediate action against the sudden outbreak, 3) publicize, educate, establish and perform the missions, taking initiative in training clinicians, 4) upgrade professional competency by familiarizing ourselves with epidemiologic investigations, and 5) fulfill the responsibilities as health keepers of the nation.
Keywords: Emerging Communicable disease; Epidemiology; Role


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