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[Editorial] Dysentery Is Spreading While Government Is Watching

[Editorial] Dysentery Is Spreading While Government Is Watching

Posted December. 14, 2001 10:15,   


It is shameful. It`s been only one year since the schools in Cheju was temporarily closed by the spread of amoebic dysentery, numbering over 2,500 patients nationwide. There is no need to go back to last year. It`s been only a few months since the whole nation was startled by the spread of cholera. Now it`s dysentery that makes people nervous. During 10 days since the first patient was found, consuming lunch provided by a food company, the patient`s number increased to 190 and over 900 people showed the symptoms of diarrhea. The second and third infected patients are already found and the number of patient are increasing in Chuncheon, Seosan, and Pusan. What has the government done by now?

It is even more deplorable that the delayed first response of the infectious disease prevention team caused the spread of the disease exactly the same as the cases of dysentery early this year and of cholera last year. The government acknowledged the hospitalization of the diarrhea patients who had rice-rolls (Maki) only after four days had passed. During that period, since the lunch supply company had continuously provided `the dysentery rice rolls` it seems very natural that dysentery had spread over the nation. `The diarrhea patient monitoring system` is useless. Just as the hospitals are irresponsible for postponing the reports, so is the governmental disease control agency. The health related departments should have strengthened the cooperative system with the hospitals, considering the frequent spread of the infectious diseases for past couple of years. The government is ignoring its first responsibility to protect the national health.

Not monitoring over the food companies cannot be ignored. The government has repeatedly said that it will `strengthen the education of employees and improve the sanitary facilities of the related business`. A recent survey of Seoul city on the sanitary condition of the lunch providers in the city clearly shows the government`s negligence. 36 percent of the companies violated the related laws and provided food that had expired circulation period. Even cockroaches were found in the lunch boxes. And the fact that the spread of dysentery was caused by an infected employee who made the rice rolls definitely suggests the situation of our sanitary system.

The government must take appropriate measures to stop the spread of dysentery as soon as possible. In addition, it has to keep thorough and continuous sanitary controls over the related business. People also must create a sanitary way of life. This absurdity can`t happen again next year in the midst of the World Cup Games when the entire world is watching us.