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Korean J Med Hist > Volume 4(1); 1995 > Article
Korean Journal of Medical History 1995;4(1): 1-10.
朝鮮時代末의 急慢性傳染病과 醫療機關
Infectious Diseases and Medical Institutions in the Late Chosen Dynasty
Chang Duk Kee
Catholic University Medical College, Kee's Dental Clinic, Korea.
There were severe outbreaks of cholera and syphilis in the late Chosen Dynasty. In this article, I examine how these diseases spreaded and which preventive and curative measures were used against them. There were five times of cholera epidemic in Chosen Dynasty. Oriental medicine was initially adopted for the prevention and cure of the disease, but it did not produce remarkable results. Disinfection center and Cholera Clinic, the first special institution for the patients suffering from epidemic diseases, were established in Jeol-yung island, but could not be run properly at first. As preventive measures came to be more westernized, the popular awareness of understanding of the disease was improved. Temporary quarantine stations were established, and Korean government announced several rules against cholera. Contemporary Korean physicians had not known well about syphilis. Syphilis began to spread after the 1905 Protectorate Treaty was contracted and the Japanese migrated to Korea in large numbers. Syphilis had already spreaded widely among the Japanese prostitutes, and special clinic was established from relatively early times. After the 1905 Treaty, Korean women entered into the Japanese prostitutes' house, and syphilis disseminated among the Koreans. Korean government did not establish special clinic as Japanese did, but Kwangjewon made efforts to enlighten the people and carried out veneral disease checks and remedy of the prostitutes. Registration of the prostitutes and collection of taxes from them became two policies to root out the prostitution and syphilis.
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