CHUNCHEON, Gangwon Province -- Health authorities are launching epidemiological investigations into a woman with a suspected case of a mosquito-borne illness that can permanently deform sufferers' joints, they said Friday.
The woman from Chuncheon, northeast of Seoul, in her 30s, showed suspected symptoms of the disease, Chikungunya fever, early this month after making a three-day visit to Malaysia, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. It added that she is currently recovering.
The disease, which is mainly prevalent in Asia and Africa, causes symptoms in humans that include fever and joint inflammation 2-12 days after they are bitten by a mosquito. Other symptoms may include headache, muscle pain and rash. The mortality rate is low, but the illness causes joint pain for several months and can result in deformed joints.
Cases of infection are rare in South Korea and are usually in travelers who catch it overseas.
The authorities are calling on the public to be on guard against it, asking anyone who develops symptoms after traveling overseas to see a doctor immediately. (Yonhap)