A new and highly lethal form of the West Nile virus has been discovered in North Korea, a source with direct knowledge of the investigation told CNN.
“We believe it’s the first time a West Nile has been found in North Korean soil,” the source said.
The source told CNN that scientists from the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KICA) discovered the virus in January and that the results were confirmed on Wednesday.
There is no confirmation yet that the West is West Nile, the source added.
We have confirmed it’s West Nile with the Korean National Center for Disease Control and Prevention (KNCDCP), the source told CNN.
Scientists have found West Nile in North Koreans, but they have not been able to prove that the virus originated there, according to the KNCDC.
In the past, West Nile had spread in the Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia and China, but these were all isolated cases and the virus has not been linked to any outbreak.