Winter Olympics 2018 Are in Jeopardy: North and South Korea Report Major Flu Outbreaks

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North and South Korea are reporting outbreaks of different strains of influenza, less than two weeks before the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics in PyeongChang.

Keep on reading to be aware.

olympics-team-flue-photo

Source: AP

North Korea’s seasonal flu

Flu outbreaks in both North and South Korea have raised concerns for thousands of visitors from around the world arriving for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

According to a Friday report from the World Health Organization, North Korea documented 126,574 individuals with flu-like symptoms and 81,640 confirmed cases of influenza A (H1N1) known as swine flu, between December 1 and January 16.

North Korea’s Ministry of Public Health said there have been four flu-related deaths there: one an adult and three children under the age of 5.

South Korea avian flu

South Korea also reported about 1,250 confirmed cases of both A and B influenza virus to the WHO between December 4 and January 28.

A highly contagious strain of bird flu (H5N6) has been reported at chicken farms near Seoul. South Korean Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said it confirmed a “highly pathogenic strain of H5N6 avian influenza” on a chicken farm in Pyeongtaek in Gyeonggi Province.

According to the ministry, there have been 16 cases of avian influenza confirmed on poultry farms and 10 in wild birds.

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Source: CNN

Are Winter Olympics in jeopardy?

Political divisions between North Korea and South Korea and limited travel across their shared border may account for the variation in influenza cases.

As North Korean athletes and spectators prepare to arrive ahead of the games, Schaffner noted that it might be hard to stop the virus from spreading.

“Influenza is fickle, people are capable of transmitting the virus before they get sick,” he said. “Even if you screened people coming from North Korea, they might still be carrying the virus unbeknownst to themselves and undetectable to anyone else.”

The Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang will be held roughly 50 miles (80 kilometers) from the border with North Korea and 80 miles (128 kilometers) from the farms where avian influenza has been detected. However, agencies have not suggested travel restrictions for athletes or tourists in or near the region.

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Winter Olympics 2018 Are in Jeopardy: North and South Korea Report Major Flu Outbreaks
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Winter Olympics 2018 Are in Jeopardy: North and South Korea Report Major Flu Outbreaks
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North and South Korea are reporting outbreaks of different strains of influenza, less than two weeks before the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics in PyeongChang.
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