After the Covid Wave, North Korea Reports an Outbreak of an Unknown Intestinal Disease

North Korea Reports Unknown Intestinal Disease
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North Korea has sent medical teams and epidemiological investigators to a province dealing with an outbreak of an intestinal ailment, according to official media on Sunday.

So far, at least 800 families in South Hwanghae Province, some 75 miles south of Pyongyang, have gotten relief from what North Korea has only described as a “acute enteric outbreak.”

Enteric refers to the gastrointestinal tract, and officials in South Korea believe it could be cholera or typhoid.

The current outbreak, which was first reported on Thursday, adds to the isolation of the country, which is already dealing with chronic food shortages and a wave of Covid-19 infections.

State news agency KCNA described prevention efforts on Sunday, including quarantines, “extensive screening for all inhabitants,” and particular treatment and surveillance of vulnerable people including children and the elderly.

According to KCNA, a national “Rapid Diagnosis and Treatment Team” is collaborating with local health officials, and steps are being taken to guarantee that cultivation in the crucial agricultural area is not disturbed.

According to the study, sewage and other trash are being disinfected to ensure the safety of drinking and domestic water.

According to the state daily Rodong Sinmun, medicines made by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and others, including his sister, would be handed to households in South Hwanghae Province on Friday.

Because North Korea has a free press, it is difficult to objectively verify their assertions.

On state media Monday, Ryu Yong Chol, the person in charge of emergency epidemic activities in North Korea, cautioned viewers that gastrointestinal infections could spread through sick people’s belongings, food, and drinks. He believes that strictly segregating patients is critical to preventing its spread.

Pathogens that cause enteric infections, in addition to typhoid and cholera, include the polio virus, hepatitis A virus, and dysentery bacillus, according to Ryu.

The “enteric epidemic” news comes as North Korea continues to tackle Covid-19, or “fevered cases.”

On Sunday, KCNA reported 19,310 additional fever cases, but did not specify how many of those individuals tested positive for the coronavirus.

Since a Covid outbreak was initially identified in mid-May, over 4.6 million people have developed fever symptoms. As of June 19, KCNA had claimed 73 “fever” deaths.

As with North Korean allegations of a “acute enteric outbreak,” independently verifying the case counts and recoveries stated by North Korean official media is difficult.

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