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Epidemiol Health > Accepted Articles
Epidemiology and Health 2022;e2022011.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2022011    [Accepted] Published online Jan 3, 2022.
Trends in gastrointestinal infections before and during nonpharmaceutical interventions in Korea in comparison with the United States
Soyeoun Kim2  , Jinhyun Kim3  , Bo Youl Choi1  , Boyoung Park1 
1Department of Preventive Medicine, Hanyang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
2Department of Health Sciences, Hanyang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
3Economics & Business Economics, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Correspondence  Boyoung Park ,Email: hayejine@hanmail.net
Received: Jul 10, 2021  Accepted after revision: Jan 2, 2022
Abstract
OBJECTIVES:
To examine how the trends in the weekly frequencies of gastrointestinal infectious diseases changed before and during the COVID-19 pandemic in Korea, and to compare them with the trends in the United States.
METHODS:
We compared the weekly frequencies of gastrointestinal infectious diseases (16 bacterial and 6 viral diseases) in Korea during weeks 5-52 before and after COVID-19. In addition, the weekly frequencies of five gastrointestinal infectious diseases in the United States (data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) that overlapped with those in Korea were compared.
RESULTS:
The mean weekly number of total gastrointestinal infectious diseases in Korea showed a significant decrease (from 522 before COVID-19 to 245 after COVID-19, P < 0.01). Only bacterial gastrointestinal infectious diseases caused by Campylobacter increased significantly; other bacterial gastrointestinal infectious diseases showed either a decrease or no change. All other viral diseases decreased. In the United States, the weekly numbers of Salmonella, Campylobacter, typhoid, shigellosis, and hepatitis A virus sharply decreased after the COVID-19 outbreak. The weekly numbers of all viral diseases markedly decreased in both countries; however, the bacterial gastrointestinal infectious diseases showed a different pattern.
CONCLUSIONS:
Most gastrointestinal infectious diseases decreased after the COVID-19 outbreak. In contrast, Campylobacter infections showed an increasing trend in Korea, but a decreasing trend in the United States. Further studies are needed to elucidate the different trends in bacterial and viral infectious diseases before and after NPIs and between different countries.
Keywords: COVID-19; Gastrointestinal infection; Nonpharmaceutical intervention
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