Officials tallied a near ten-fold jump in new patients in the space of just 24 hours © AP / Shuji Kajiyama

North Korea has reported a massive surge in a mysterious “fever” outbreak, including almost two dozen additional deaths and tens of thousands of new cases. Kim Jong-un called the epidemic one of the greatest “turmoils” in the nation’s history.

Health officials confirmed 174,440 “new cases of fever” nationwide and 21 fatalities on Friday – up from just six deaths the day prior – the state-run KCNA reported, noting the total number of patients had exceeded 524,000 since late April. Some 288,810 are now in quarantine or receiving treatment. (RT)