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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 56  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 268-271

A comparative study of the trends in epidemiological aspects of Lyme disease infections in Korea and Japan, 2011–2016

1 College of Veterinary Medicine, Konkuk University, Seoul, Korea
2 Faculty of Health and Nutrition, Otemae University, Osaka, Japan

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Nong hoon Choe
College of Veterinary Medicine, Konkuk University, Seoul–05029
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-9062.289396

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Lyme disease (LD) is one of the most prevalent tick-borne emerging infections in North America, Europe, and far Eastern Asia including Korea and Japan. This study was undertaken with the aim of a comparative and quantitative analysis of the epidemiological aspects of LD infections in Korea and Japan from 2011 to 2016. The raw data analyzed in this study were obtained from the websites of the Korea Center for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC), Korea, and the National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID), Japan. In total 65 cases of LD were observed with a cumulative incidence rate (CIR) of 0.22 per million population in Korea from 2011 to 2016. During the same period in Japan, there were 75 cases of LD with a CIR of 0.10 [significantly higher than that in Korea (p <0.01)]. Further, the results showed that in Korea, LD incidence was slightly higher in women than in men; but in Japan, the case was reverse, with incidence much higher in men than women. The proportion of cases differed significantly by age-specific adjusted groups within both countries (p <0.01). In both the countries, the incidence of LD was highest among those aged ≤20 yr (93.8% cases in Korea, and 94.7% cases in Japan). Cases peaked in autumn (46.7% of total cases) in Korea and in summer (60.0%) in Japan (p <0.01). The counties in rural areas had a significantly higher proportion of cases than the capital cities in both the countries (p <0.01). The study indicates that LD in Korea and Japan is an emerging zoonosis, and pose a serious risk to public health. The results underscore the continued emergency of LD and provide a basis for targeting prevention campaigns to a population with increasing incidence. Proper information, education and communication (IEC) activities can be helpful in reducing the spread of infection.

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