Malaria crosses the DMZ

From Reuters:

North Korea has greatly reduced malaria infections at home but mosquitoes carrying the disease are crossing the heavily armed border and infecting hundreds each year in the South, a provincial governor said on Tuesday.

Kim Moon-soo, governor of Gyeonggi province which surrounds Seoul and shares a border with North Korea, visited the communist state this month to discuss food aid and ways to keep malaria in check.

Kim said there were about 60,000 civilian infections in North Korea in 2003 while in 2007 the number was reduced to an estimated 7,430.

In his province, 677 people were infected last year with malaria by mosquitoes that had crossed the no-man’s land Demilitarized Zone buffer dividing the two countries technically still at war.

The infection rate in the province, though, has fallen since 2001 when several thousand people were infected, according to South Korean government statistics.

South Korea has worked with the World Health Organization since 2001, when an estimated 300,000 civilians were infected in the North, to eradicate malaria on the peninsula.

Seoul said earlier this month it would provide aid valued at $1.8 million to combat malaria in the North.

Read the full article here:
North Korea fights off malaria as disease heads South
Jon Herskovitz


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