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North Korea reports another disease outbreak amid the COVID-19 outbreak; Leader Kim Jong Un sent medicines to the western port city of Haeju

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North Korea reports another disease outbreak amid the COVID-19 outbreak; Leader Kim Jong Un sent medicines to the western port city of Haeju
TOPSHOT – North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un before a meeting with US President Donald Trump on the south side of the Military Demarcation Line that divides North and South Korea, in the Joint Security Area (JSA) of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized zone (DMZ) on June 30, 2019. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

North Korea on June 16 reported the outbreak of another infectious disease amid the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.

Leader Kim Jong Un sent medicines to the western port city of Haeju on Wednesday to help patients suffering from the “acute enteric epidemic”, state news agency KCNA said, without giving the number affected, or identifying the disease.

“(Kim) stressed the need to contain the epidemic at the earliest date possible by taking a well-knit measure to quarantine the suspected cases to thoroughly curb its spread, confirming cases through epidemiological examination and scientific tests,” KCNA said.

KCNA didn’t embellish on precisely what the epidemic is and how many people have been infected.

Some observers say “an enteric epidemic” in North Korea refers to an infectious disease such as typhoid, dysentery or cholera, which are intestinal illnesses caused by germs via contaminated food and water or contact with faeces of infected people.

“Intestinal diseases such as typhoid and shigellosis are not particularly new in North Korea but what’s troubling is that it comes at a time when the country is already struggling from Covid-19,” said professor Shin Young-jeon at Hanyang University’s College of Medicine in Seoul.

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