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Rok Song 2 Articles
Operating a National Hotline in Korea During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Rok Song, Yuh Seog Choi, Jae Young Ko
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2020;11(6):380-382.   Published online December 22, 2020
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2020.11.6.06
  • 3,653 View
  • 79 Download
  • 3 Citations
AbstractAbstract PDF

The importance of effective communication cannot be overestimated during a pandemic. The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency national 1339 hotline has been in operation since the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus outbreak in 2016. The hotline is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, and provides accurate, reliable information based upon the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency guidelines in response to queries. During the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the 1339 hotline received callers’ questions about symptoms and the implications of their actions regarding the epidemic. Through the 1339 hotline, callers received the up-to-date information that enabled them to protect themselves as well as others from COVID-19. This public service may have influenced on reduced risk of virus transmission in Korea.

COVID-19 in Nursing Facilities: Experience in Republic of Korea
Rok Song, Hee-Sook Kim, Seok-Ju Yoo, Kwan Lee, Ji-Hyuk Park, Joon Ho Jang, Gyoung-Sook Ahn, Jun-Nyun Kim
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2020;11(4):164-169.   Published online August 31, 2020
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2020.11.4.04
  • 4,710 View
  • 131 Download
  • 5 Citations
AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreaks in nursing facilities can easily lead to a high rate of infection and fatality. A surge in newly infected cases in the first quarter of 2020 in Gyeongsan-si, in the Republic of Korea, was followed by several outbreaks in nursing facilities in the same area. The aim of this study is to report on the epidemiological investigation and the management to reduce the infection rate in nursing facilities for older adults.

Methods

The municipal government and the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention performed an epidemiological investigation into 5 nursing facilities that reported a high number of COVID-19 infection cases from February to May 2020. COVID-19 infected cases in the facilities were investigated to identify the infection routes, and the fatality rate of the 5 facilities.

Results

The 5 facilities had a combined fatality rate of 12.2% (9 deceased among the 74 infected cases). The median age of the deceased was 87 years old (range: 82–91). The infection was first identified on February 27th, 2020, peaked on March 6th, and was last detected on March 24th, 2020.

Conclusion

Difficulties specific to such facilities included the delay in the recognition of symptoms and limitation in distancing. Tailored strategies such as daily monitoring of symptoms and proactive COVID-19 screening of quarantined residents, contributed to a decline in the infections in the facilities.


PHRP : Osong Public Health and Research Perspectives