Public policy and laws on infectious disease control in Korea: Past, present and prospective

Byung Chul Chun

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


The history of modern infectious disease control in Korea could be divided into 4 era by its characteristics; the Opening and Korean Empire era (1896-1910), Japanese Colonial Rule and US military government era (1910-1948), Korean government era before 2000 (1948-2000) and After 2000 (2000-present). In the Opening and Korean Empire era, the first form of communicable disease prevention act was issued in 1899, including the first 6 notifiable communicable diseases in Korea; cholera, smallpox, dysentery, diphtheria and epidemic typus. Before establishment of administrative department for infectious disease, Japanese Colonial Empire took the police power away and set the colonial sanitary police system in 1907. During the Japanese Colonial Rule, the sanitary police system was forcefully active not only to control the epidemics but also fortify the colonial governmentalism. But during the colonial era, the incidence of water-borne diseases like typhoid fever and dysentery had increased, and the respiratory diseases both diphtheria and tuberculosis also had increased. This forceful sanitary police system had influenced the communicable prevention act and health policy for over 50 years after the colonial era. In 1954 the Korean government proclaimed the communicable prevention act. Since then the government increased the number of national notifiable diseases and refined the related acts by public needs. In 2000, the communicable prevention act was fully amended to satisfy the modern public health principles not the sanitary policy rules. And the revised act named 'Infectious Diseases Control and Prevention Act' was proclaimed in 2010. The globalization, emerging and re-emerging infectious disease, climate change, change of health behavior, development information technology, unification of Korean peninsula would be the next challenges of infectious disease control and prevention in Korea.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)474-484
Number of pages11
JournalInfection and Chemotherapy
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Dec
Externally publishedYes


  • Communicable diseases prevention act
  • History
  • Korea
  • Public policy
  • Sanitary

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Public policy and laws on infectious disease control in Korea: Past, present and prospective'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this