Decreasing incidence of Plasmodium vivax in the Republic of Korea during 2010--2012
After the re-emergence of Plasmodium vivax in 1993, a total of 31,254 cases of vivax malaria were reported between 1993--2012 in the Republic of Korea (ROK). The purpose of this study was to review Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention records to investigate the transmission of malaria from 2010--2012.
Reporting of microscopy-diagnosed cases of malaria is mandatory in the ROK. In this study, all available records of malaria cases and malaria vectors collected from 2010 -- 2012 in Cheorwon County, Gangwon Province and Ganghwa County, Incheon Metropolitan City, were reviewed.
Although the number of cases of malaria peaked a third time in 2010 (1,772 cases) since the re-emergence of P. vivax, the incidence decreased two-fold to 838 in 2011 and three-fold to 555 in 2012. The number of cases decreased 52.7% in 2011 compared with that in 2010 and 33.8% in 2012 compared with that in 2011. However, the number of cases increased in Incheon Metropolitan City (15.3%) and Gyeongnam Province (23.1%) in 2012 compared with 2011. Of the 3,165 cases of vivax malaria in 2010--2012, 798 (25.2%) were in ROK military personnel, 519 (16.4%) in veterans, and 1,848 (58.4%) in civilians. In total, there were 2,666 male patients and 499 female patients, and the ratio of female to male patients increased from 1:7.9 in 2011 to 1:4.1 in 2012.
A rapid decrease in the incidence of malaria was observed in most areas from 2010 to 2012, but the incidence increased again in the western part of the demilitarized zone. Therefore, more intensive surveillance is needed throughout high risk areas to identify factors responsible for increase/decrease in the incidence of malaria in the ROK.
Malaria Journal 2013, 12:309 doi:10.1186/1475-2875-12-309Published: 5 September 2013