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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
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.
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.
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.
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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