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- Date2024-01-16 17:16
- Update2024-01-16 17:16
[A summarized unofficial version of the press release]
Free rapid tests for dengue virus
are offered at national quarantine stations
- Starting from Jan. 12, 2024, inbound travelers who have any suspicious symptoms of dengue fever or want a diagnostic test can undergo free testing at 13 airport and port quarantine stations across the country.
- KDCA advises overseas travelers to follow mosquito bite prevention tips such as the use of mosquito repellents, wearing light-colored and long-sleeved clothing, etc.
- Inbound travelers who show symptoms (e.g. fever, headache, muscle pain, rash, etc.) are advised to take a dengue rapid diagnostic test.
Osong, 16th January 2024 ━ The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) will step up dengue response as a policy effort to improve and secure people's lives in 2024. To this end, the KDCA will expand access to rapid dengue test kits at 13 national quarantine stations starting from this year with an aim to help protect Koreans who travel abroad as tourists from dengue. This measure has been designed for preemptive surveillance of imported cases as dengue was added to the list of quarantinable infectious diseases in December 1, 2023.
Dengue viruses are spread to people through the bite of an infected mosquitoes (Aedes aegypti or Aedes aegypti). After an incubation period of 5 to 7 days, the symptoms of dengue begin with high fever, headache, chills and muscle pains. Currently, there is no specific treatment and vaccine available for dengue and thus it is highly crucial to prevent mosquito bites.
Notably, a Korean traveler died from the dengue virus following a business trip to Bangladesh in September 2023. Taking the case seriously, Koreans who frequently visited countries at high risk of dengue are advised to take precautions against dengue fever as dengue reinfection may drastically increase the risk of fatality. The official website about imported infectious disease (http://www.해외감염병NOW.kr) informs the public of specific preventive measures to avoid dengue.
* The dengue virus comprises four serotypes, and the reinfection with the different serotype contributes to severe dengue fever symptoms (Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF), Dengue Shock Syndrome (DSS), etc.) and its case fatality rate is 5%.
If overseas travelers suspect that they may have symptoms such as fever, headache, and muscle and joint pains after being bitten by a mosquito in high-risk countries, they need to report it to quarantine officers and undergo testing with a dengue rapid diagnostic test. In case of testing positive for dengue, they should undergo further diagnostic testing and confirm it at a medical institution.
KDCA Commissioner Youngmee Jee advises people planning to travel abroad to keep vigilant by following tips for preventing imported mosquito-borne diseases throughout their trips and get a dengue rapid diagnostic test if needed.
Tips for Preventing Imported Mosquito-borne Diseases
① Before traveling
- Check for information on infectious diseases prevalent in the region you are visiting on the following official website: Imported Infectious Diseases NOW (http://www.해외감염병NOW.kr → go to" Infectious Disease Prevention Information by Country")
- Familiarize yourself with mosquito prevention measures and pack essentials, including mosquito repellents, nets, light-colored long-sleeved clothing, and household medications.
② While traveling
- Minimize time spent in mosquito-prone areas, such as grassy forests and mountainous areas.
- Wear light-colored, long-sleeved clothing outdoors, and reapply mosquito repellent every 3 to 4 hours.
- Opt for air-conditioned accommodations with mosquito nets or screens.
③ Upon arrival
- If you arrive from a quarantine inspection-required area (56 countries), use the Quarantine Information Pre-Entry System (Q-CODE) to report your health status before entering.
- Inform quarantine officers of any suspected dengue symptoms (fever, headache, muscle or joint pain, rash, etc.) and undergo testing using a dengue rapid test kit.
④ After traveling
- If you experience symptoms within 2 weeks of returning home, consult your local healthcare providers, detailing your overseas travel history.
- You will be deferred from blood donation after returning for four weeks.
* For detailed information, please refer to the press release written in the Korean language in the file attached below.