I will be in South Korea one week in November. Do I need to worry about any sort of life threatening infections (e.g., bird flu), while visiting there? Also do I need to bring surgical mask, while visiting South Korea for that matter?
I'm not sure what exactly you are worried about, so let me point out a few points:
- There was an outbreak of the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus in South Korea earlier this year. According to the last update of WHO on the situation from July, there have been no new infections and there shouldn't be any danger of getting infected any more.
- You are travelling during the winter months, which in the northern hemisphere is the influenza season (aka 'the flu'), which is common in most parts of the world.
- Note that contrary to popular belief the primary use of surgical masks is not to protect the wearer from getting sick, but to protect others from being infected by the wearer. While wearing a mask might offer you some protection (such as preventing you from touching your mouth and nose), it isn't very effective, as droplet infection can also occur through the eyes. It also doesn't protect you from air pollution, as they don't filter out fine particles.
In summary, I don't think you need to be overly worried about travelling to South Korea. The chances of you getting a 'life-threatening infection' are not any higher than in any other developed country.