North Korea has reported an outbreak of an unidentified intestinal disease in the country following the outbreak of covid-19 .
At least 800 families suffering from what North Korea has only called an “acute enteric epidemic” have received aid so far in South Hwanghae Province, about 75 miles south of the capital Pyongyang.
State media reported on Sunday, June 19 that North Korea dispatched medical crews and epidemiological investigators to a province battling the outbreak of an intestinal disease.
The new outbreak, first reported on Thursday, puts further strain on the isolated country as it battles chronic food shortages and a wave of Covid-19 infections.
On Sunday, state news agency KCNA detailed prevention efforts, including quarantines, “intensive screening for all residents,” and special treatment and monitoring of vulnerable people such as children and the elderly.
Ryu Yong Chol, the official in charge of emergency epidemic work in North Korea, warned viewers on state television on Monday that enteric diseases could spread though infected people’s belongings, food and drinks. Strictly isolating patients is important to prevent its spread, he said.
Apart from typhoid and cholera, the polio virus, hepatitis A virus, and dysentery bacillus are among the pathogens that cause enteric diseases, Ryu said.
South Korean officials say the disease North Korea is referring to may be cholera or typhoid.
Disinfection work is being carried out, including of sewage and other waste, to ensure the safety of drinking and household water, the report said.
State newspaper Rodong Sinmun on Friday said medicines prepared by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and others, including his sister, would be delivered to families in South Hwanghae Province.