Osong Public Health Res Perspect.  2019 Dec;10(6):394-398. 10.24171/j.phrp.2019.10.6.10.

Estimation of the Size of Dengue and Zika Infection Among Korean Travelers to Southeast Asia and Latin America, 2016–2017

  • 1Division of Risk Assessment and International Cooperation, Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Osong, Korea. sammidori@empal.com


To estimate the number and risk of imported infections resulting from people visiting Asian and Latin American countries.
The dataset of visitors to 5 Asian countries with dengue were analyzed for 2016 and 2017, and in the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, imported cases of zika virus infection were also reported. For zika virus, a single imported case was reported from Brazil in 2016, and 2 imported cases reported from the Maldives in 2017. To understand the transmissibility in 5 Southeast Asian countries, the estimate of the force of infection, i.e., the hazard of infection per year and the average duration of travel has been extracted. Outbound travel numbers were retrieved from the World Tourism Organization, including business travelers.
The incidence of imported dengue in 2016 was estimated at 7.46, 15.00, 2.14, 4.73 and 2.40 per 100,000 travelers visiting Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam, respectively. Similarly, 2.55, 1.65, 1.53, 1.86 and 1.70 per 100,000 travelers in 2017, respectively. It was estimated that there were 60.1 infections (range: from 16.8 to 150.7 infections) with zika virus in Brazil, 2016, and 345.6 infections (range: from 85.4 to 425.5 infections) with zika virus in the Maldives, 2017.
This study emphasizes that dengue and zika virus infections are mild in their nature, and a substantial number of infections may go undetected. An appropriate risk assessment of zika virus infection must use the estimated total size of infections.


dengue fever; Korea; travel; zika virus infection
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