North Korea deploys national medical teams to fight gut outbreak

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North Korean farmers work in a field at a collective farm in South Hwanghae province, September 30, 2011. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

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SEOUL, June 19 (Reuters) – North Korea has dispatched medical teams and epidemiological investigators to a province battling an outbreak of an intestinal disease, state media reported on Sunday.

So far, at least 800 families suffering from what North Korea has called an “acute enteric epidemic” have received aid in South Hwanghae province.

Enteric refers to the gastrointestinal tract and South Korean officials say it can be cholera or typhoid.

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The new outbreak, first reported on Thursday, is putting further pressure 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. .

A “national rapid diagnosis and treatment team” is working with local health officials and measures are being taken to ensure that farming is not disrupted in the key agricultural area, KCNA said.

Disinfection work is underway, including sewage and other waste, to ensure safe drinking and domestic water, the report said.

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Reporting by Josh Smith; Editing by Daniel Wallis

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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