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Bedbugs invade Daegu dorm

University under fire, accused of slow response to reports of infestation

Oct. 19, 2023 - 17:59 By Moon Ki Hoon
A mattress infested with bedbugs (Yonhap)

Panic spread across Keimyung University in Daegu, South Korea, following the discovery of bedbugs in a student dormitory, prompting evacuation and extensive disinfection procedures.

The issue first came to light in mid-September when a student reported being bitten by bedbugs. The student, residing in the university's newly renovated dormitory, claimed to have suffered severe symptoms requiring medical treatment including high fever and itchiness.

The initial complaint, shared on an anonymous online bulletin board for students, was accompanied by a photo apparently showing a mattress infested with bedbugs.

The viral post prompted a slew of similar allegations from other students, though the authenticity of these additional claims could not be independently verified. University officials publicly acknowledged the incident this week, confirming the presence of bedbugs in one dorm room.

A delay in response from school administration has sparked outrage among the student body, who accuse the university of negligence. Despite student claims of notifying the staff as early as mid-September, official actions, including the relocation of the affected student and comprehensive disinfection of facilities, were only undertaken this week.

Bedbugs used to be a common issue in South Korea but were largely eradicated in the 1980s with extensive DDT use. The country saw a resurgence of the pest in the early 2000s, with the increase in international travel suspected to be the main factor.