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J Korean Med Assoc > Volume 62(8); 2019 > Article
Journal of the Korean Medical Association 2019;62(8):437-456.
Published online August 16, 2019.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5124/jkma.2019.62.8.437   
Status of common parasitic diseases in Korea in 2019
Sun Huh
Department of Parasitology and Institute of Medical Education, College of Medicine, Hallym University, Chuncheon, Korea. shuh@hallym.ac.kr
This study aimed to determine the status of common parasitic disease in Korea in 2019. Twelve parasitic diseases were selected: toxocariasis, anisakiasis, paragonimiasis, sparganosis, cysticercosis, toxoplasmosis, clonorchiasis, enterobiasis, trichuriasis, trichomoniasis, cryptosporidiosis, and malaria. Their biology, epidemiology, pathogenesis, symptoms and signs, diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis were evaluated. Of the parasitic diseases, toxocariasis was the most prevalent according to serological results. Anisakiasis should be considered when acute gastrointestinal symptoms occur with a recent past history of raw seafood ingestion. Paragonimiasis, sparganosis, and cysticercosis can be diagnosed using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay; thus, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay needs to be performed for suspected cases. Toxoplasmosis and cryptosporidiosis are opportunistic infections. The symptoms and signs are aggravated under immunocompromised conditions. Although the egg positivity rate of Clonorchis sinensis is higher than that of other intestinal parasitic diseases, encountering patients with complaints of symptoms caused by clonorchiasis is rare because the worm burden is low. Trichomoniasis is usually managed by gynecologists; therefore, it should be included in the differential diagnoses of vaginal diseases. The annual number of malaria cases has decreased, although it remains at approximately 500 cases per year. Malaria should be suspected when symptoms such as intermittent fever, headache, and splenomegaly are noted especially when the patients reside near demilitarized zones. Although the prevalence and number of reported cases of parasitic diseases have decreased in Korea, we should consider parasitic diseases in the list of differential diagnoses.
Key Words: Parasitic diseases, Prevalence, Diagnosis, Therapeutics, Republic of Korea


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