Mosquito Borne Illnesses

Malaria seems to have been the most common, widely distributed disease in Korea. On the Korean peninsula, malaria almost always appeared as the "3-day fever" and was most prevalent in areas with numerous rice fields, which Avison thought "constitute a suitable home for the development of the malarial poison." He assumed that all the varieties of malaria would be found in Korea, but most cases were of the tertian or quartan type. The people were familiar with quinine, and there was a great demand for it, especially during the fall and winter months. Unfortunately, bogus products were often sold as quinine (Avison 1897). Malaria was still common in the 1940s, especially in the southern provinces.

Filiariasis due to Wunchereria bancrofti was also found in the southern provinces of Korea in the 1940s. The principal vectors of this disease were Anopheles hyrcanus sinensis and Culex fatigans.

It is interesting to note, however, that dengue fever and yellow fever were not found in Korea despite the presence of dengue fever in areas that had frequent intercourse with Korea. This is particularly remarkable because the principal vectors of dengue fever, Aedes aegypti (also the principal vector of yellow fever) and Aedes albopictus, are found in Korea.

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