Osong Public Health and Research Perspectives 2017; 8(2): 155-155  https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2017.8.2.08
Necessity of a Surveillance System for Tick-borne Encephalitis
Seok-Ju Yoo, and Ji-Hyuk Park
Department of Preventive Medicine, Dongguk University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
Correspondence to: Seok-Ju Yoo, E-mail: medhippo@hanmail.net
Received: March 17, 2017; Revised: April 11, 2017; Accepted: April 13, 2017; Published online: April 30, 2017.
© Korea Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. All rights reserved.

This is an open access article under the CC BYNC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

Dear Editor:

With great interest, I have gone through the paper titled, “Prevalence of tick-borne encephalitis virus in ixodid ticks collected from the Republic of Korea during 2011–2012,” by Yun et al [1]. Yun et al [1] reported that the minimum infection rate (MIR) of tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) from a tick was 0.08%. The MIR from Haemaphysalis longicornis, a tick species that constitutes most collected ticks, was 0.06%. In another paper that also studied the MIR of severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) from H. longicornis reported a MIR of 0.46% [2]. In South Korea, the first case of a patient with SFTS was reported in 2013 [3]; the number then gradually increased to 79 cases in 2015 with the initiation of a surveillance protocol [4]. A simple comparison between the MIRs of TBE and those of SFTS from H. longicornis shows that the number of patients with TBE is one-eighth of the number of patients with SFTS. However, no additional cases were reported from 2011 after the legal designation of TBE as an infectious disease, up to October 2016. This may be due to a difference in transmission route or pathogenicity, but TBE is certainly under-reported in Korea because of its unfamiliarity. Therefore, TBE surveillance by health authorities should be strengthened and awareness among primary-care physicians by education and public relations about TBE should be increased.

  1. Yun, SM, Song, BG, and Choi, W (2012). Prevalence of tick-borne encephalitis virus in ixoid ticks from the Republic of Korea during 2011–2012. Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 3, 213-21.
  2. Park, SW, Song, BG, and Shin, EH (2014). Prevalence of severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome virus in Haemaphysalis longicornis ticks in South Korea. Ticks Tick Borne Dis. 5, 975-7.
    Pubmed CrossRef
  3. Kim, KH, Yi, J, and Kim, G (2013). Severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome, South Korea, 2012. Emerg Infect Dis. 19, 1892-4.
    Pubmed KoreaMed CrossRef
  4. Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2016). Disease web statistics system (severe with thrombocytopenia syndrome) [Internet].[cited 2016 Jun 30]. Available from: http://is.cdc.go.kr/dstat/jsp/stat/stat0001.jsp

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