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2015 MERS outbreak in Korea: hospital-to-hospital transmission
Moran Ki
Epidemiol Health. 2015;37:e2015033.   Published online July 21, 2015
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AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
The distinct characteristic of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) outbreak in South Korea is that it not only involves intra-hospital transmission, but it also involves hospital-to-hospital transmission. It has been the largest MERS outbreak outside the Middle East, with 186 confirmed cases and, among them, 36 fatal cases as of July 26, 2015. All confirmed cases are suspected to be hospital-acquired infections except one case of household transmission and two cases still undergoing examination. The Korean health care system has been the major factor shaping the unique characteristics of the outbreak. Taking this as an opportunity, the Korean government should carefully assess the fundamental problems of the vulnerability to hospital infection and make short- as well as long-term plans for countermeasures. In addition, it is hoped that this journal, Epidemiology and Health, becomes a place where various topics regarding MERS can be discussed and shared.
Korean summary
한국의 메르스 유행은 병원내 감염뿐 아니라 병원에서 병원으로 전파되는 양상을 보인 것이 특징이다. 사우디아라비아 다음으로 가장 많은 환자가 발생하였는데 전체 확진자는 186명이고, 이중에 사망자는 36명이다. 확진자 대부분이 병원에서 감염된 것으로 추정된다. 가족간 감염이 의심되는 경우는 1명정도이며, 2명은 경로를 조사중인데 이중에 한명은 지역사회 감염이 의심된다. 한국의 의료체계 특성이 이번 유행에 중요한 요인이 되었다. 이 기회에 한국은 병원감염관리에 취약한 우리의 근본적인 문제점을 살펴서 장단기적인 대책을 마련하여야 할 것이다. 또한 역학회지가 메르스와 관련된 다양한 주제가 논의되는 장이 되기를 바란다.
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Original Article
Measles Outbreak among Institutional Infants after Hospital Infection.
Hyung Cheol Park, Eun Young Park, Sun Hee Cho, Young Jun Choi, Hyun Kyun Ki, Young Hwa Jung, Kyung Rye Moon, So Yeon Ryu, Ki Soon Kim
Korean J Epidemiol. 2001;23(1):50-58.
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AbstractAbstract PDF
S: This study was to investigate the source of infection, mode of transmission and incidence of a measles outbreak among infants living in a Gwangju welfare institution in July 2000.
The information about 63 children was collected through the nurses interview and blood sampling and laryngopharyngeal swab were conducted to the children. In addition, an epidemiologic survey was performed to confirm the infection dissemination route.
Before the outbreak, two children living at the institution were admitted to a university hospital for other health problems. These children shared a room with a 5 year old diagnosed with meningitis who was later diagnosed as having measles after rashes appeared. The two children developed measles after returning to their institution and the infection spread to other children in the institution. Among 63 children observed, 14 children(22.2%) developed measles, secondary attack rate of measles due to index cases was 19.7%. And 78.6% of the patients were between 4 and 8 months old. The room where the index case lived showed an attack rate of 81.8%, which is a much higher rate compared to other rooms. The attack rate among boys(26.0%) was higher than that of girls(12.5%), but it was not statistically significant.
This outbreak was considered to be a nosocomial infection, where the index cases were admitted to a hospital, infected and the infection spread to children. Further studies are necessary to find out the maternal antibody levels of infants of post-vaccinated mothers and the optimal age for measles vaccination.
Korean summary
Key Message

Epidemiol Health : Epidemiology and Health