HISTORICAL APPROACH TO SYPHILIS INFECTION IN KOREA BEFORE 20TH CENTURY
Syphilis infection in Korean history
Since the end of the 15th century, syphilis has spread worldwide and posed a serious threat to the peoples’ health. Not only to clinical medicine, venereal syphilis has been a major research topic in paleopathology because it was a disease of questionable origin and of high prevalence until the discovery of antibiotics. Although syphilis in history has been studied extensively in Europe and the Americas, the same subject has not been fully studied in Asia. In this review, we tried to see when the venereal syphilis was introduced and how the syphilis spread in Korea by studies on extant historical documents and paleopathological data available to date. This review provides fundamental information that will be a great help in future researches on pre-20th century syphilis in Korea.