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Another disease outbreak reported in North Korea amid COVID-19

Despite ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks and severe economic turmoil, North Korea reported a new "epidemic" of an intestinal disease on Thursday.

Some observers said the purpose of the announcement was not so much to report the infections themselves as to mention that leader Kim Jong Un donated medicine from his personal stock — an apparent effort to burnish his image at a moment of extreme hardship.

There was no name given to the illness, but enterics are illnesses related to the gastrointestinal system, such as typhoid, dysentery, and cholera. These conditions are caused by germs in contaminated food or water or contact with the feces of infected individuals.

North Korea suffers from this type of disease frequently because its water treatment system has been largely undermined for decades and there is a shortage of irrigation facilities.

There is no word on the number of people infected in the "acute enteric epidemic" in southwestern Haeju city, according to the official Korean Central News Agency.

16 June 2022


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