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Volume 11(1); February 2020
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Editorial
Effectiveness for the Response to COVID-19: The MERS Outbreak Containment Procedures
Hae-Wol Cho
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2020;11(1):1-2.   Published online February 28, 2020
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2020.11.1.01
  • 9,057 View
  • 199 Download
  • 4 Citations
PDF
Original Articles
Identification of Coronavirus Isolated from a Patient in Korea with COVID-19
Jeong-Min Kim, Yoon-Seok Chung, Hye Jun Jo, Nam-Joo Lee, Mi Seon Kim, Sang Hee Woo, Sehee Park, Jee Woong Kim, Heui Man Kim, Myung-Guk Han
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2020;11(1):3-7.   Published online February 28, 2020
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2020.11.1.02
  • 38,135 View
  • 1,162 Download
  • 244 Citations
AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives

Following reports of patients with unexplained pneumonia at the end of December 2019 in Wuhan, China, the causative agent was identified as coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), and the 2019 novel coronavirus disease was named COVID-19 by the World Health Organization. Putative patients with COVID-19 have been identified in South Korea, and attempts have been made to isolate the pathogen from these patients.

Methods

Upper and lower respiratory tract secretion samples from putative patients with COVID-19 were inoculated onto cells to isolate the virus. Full genome sequencing and electron microscopy were used to identify the virus.

Results

The virus replicated in Vero cells and cytopathic effects were observed. Full genome sequencing showed that the virus genome exhibited sequence homology of more than 99.9% with SARS-CoV-2 which was isolated from patients from other countries, for instance China. Sequence homology of SARS-CoV-2 with SARS-CoV, and MERS-CoV was 77.5% and 50%, respectively. Coronavirus-specific morphology was observed by electron microscopy in virus-infected Vero cells.

Conclusion

SARS-CoV-2 was isolated from putative patients with unexplained pneumonia and intermittent coughing and fever. The isolated virus was named BetaCoV/Korea/KCDC03/2020.

Early Epidemiological and Clinical Characteristics of 28 Cases of Coronavirus Disease in South Korea
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2020;11(1):8-14.   Published online February 28, 2020
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2020.11.1.03
  • 18,478 View
  • 721 Download
  • 75 Citations
AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives

The first confirmed case of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in South Korea was reported in January 2020, with 28 confirmed cases reported as of February 14th, 2020. The epidemiological and clinical characteristics of all 28 cases were analyzed in response to this disease.

Methods

The epidemiological characteristics and early clinical features of the 28 patients from Korea with confirmed COVID-19 were analyzed using COVID-19 reporting and surveillance data and the epidemiological investigation reports prepared by the rapid response team.

Results

There were 16 patients that entered Korea from foreign countries: Wuhan, China (11 patients), Zhuhai, China, (1 patient), Singapore (2 patients), Japan (1 patient), and Thailand (1 patient). The early symptoms were fever, sore throat, cough or sputum production, chills, and muscle ache. Three patients were asymptomatic, however, 18 developed pneumonia. Of the 28 cases, 16 were index cases imported from abroad, with 10 cases of secondary infection originating in Korea, and the route of transmission still under investigation for 2 patients. The 10 patients with secondary infection were infected from contact with family members or acquaintances of primary patients, and the suspected sites of transmission were mostly at home.

Conclusion

COVID-19 in Korea was spread by 16 infected individuals traveling from other countries, leading to second-generation cases. The initial symptoms were mostly minor, but the disease was infectious at this stage, resulting from close contact, particularly at home. Establishing an early detection strategy for COVID-19 is crucial for managing the transmission of the disease.

Risk Factors in Early Life for Preschool Children in Korea that are Associated with Being Overweight or Obese
Jin Suk Ra, Hyun Jung Yun
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2020;11(1):15-26.   Published online February 28, 2020
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2020.11.1.04
  • 3,217 View
  • 112 Download
AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives

The present study addressed the risk factors in early life for Korean preschool children that are associated with being overweight or obese.

Methods

A descriptive cross-sectional design was used to conduct this study, which included 507 mothers with preschool children aged 3–5 years, who attended daycare centers. Data were acquired via a self-administered questionnaire completed by the mothers. Of the 650 questionnaires that were distributed, 507 (78%) were completed and sent back. Multivariate logistic regression analyses were used to identify risk factors in early life, which may contribute to being overweight or obese in preschool children.

Results

Fifty-eight (11.4%) preschool children were overweight and 41 (8.1%) were obese. Multivariate logistic regression analysis with adjustment for covariates, revealed a significant association with the introduction of solid foods before 4 months of age [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 9.49, p = 0.029] and a nonresponsive feeding style (aOR = 2.80, p = 0.043) with being overweight or obese in preschool children.

Conclusion

The findings of this study highlighted the need for parenting education programs on feeding practices to increase their understanding of hunger and satiety cues in infants, and appropriate timing for the introduction of solid foods.

The Association Between Lung Function and Type 2 Diabetes in Koreans
Do-Youn Lee, Seung-min Nam
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2020;11(1):27-33.   Published online February 28, 2020
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2020.11.1.05
  • 2,563 View
  • 105 Download
  • 1 Citations
AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives

This study was performed to test the association between lung function and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) in Korean patients.

Methods

Data from the 6th Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2013 to 2015) was used in this study. There were 3,466 individuals aged between 40 and 80 years, with T2DM, who had a smoking and alcohol status listed, and blood analysis (including blood pressure), were included in this study. Lung function, measured by spirometer ventilatory dysfunction was categorized into 3 patterns: normal, restrictive ventilatory dysfunction, and obstructive ventilatory dysfunction (OVD).

Results

Based on multivariate logistic regression analysis, individuals with restrictive ventilatory dysfunction had an increased odds ratio (OR 1.615, 95% CI 1.137–2.294) for T2DM compared with individuals with normal ventilatory function, whereas OVD had no increase in the odds ratio (OR 1.169, 95 % CI 0.857–1.594). Model 1, which adjusted for age and gender, showed that the probability of having restrictive disorder was 1.559 times (95% CI 1.617–2.082) higher for prediabetes patients, and 2.320 times (95% CI 1.611–3.343) higher for T2DM patients, compared to normal individuals. For Model 4, which was fully adjusted for variables, the probability of having a restrictive disorder was 1.837 times higher for T2DM patients (95% CI 1.260–2.679).

Conclusion

Restrictive ventilatory dysfunction, but not OVD, was associated independently with T2DM.

Health Problems Among Workers Who Recycle Electronic Waste in Southern Thailand
Somsiri Decharat, Peeranart Kiddee
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2020;11(1):34-43.   Published online February 28, 2020
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2020.11.1.06
  • 3,713 View
  • 109 Download
  • 2 Citations
AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives

This study evaluated the prevalence of adverse health effects among recycling facility workers, and described their socioeconomic situation, health symptoms and work characteristics.

Methods

A cross-sectional study was conducted by interviewing 71 workers in 20 electronic waste (e-waste) recycling facilities in southern Thailand. Data were collected by questionnaire. Risk factors were evaluated using multiple logistic regression analysis.

Results

Recycling facility workers with blurred vision were significantly associated with being male (p = 0.035), over 40 years old (p = 0.020), and having ≤ secondary school education (p = 0.017). Rash/itching was associated with being male (p = 0.011), over 40 years (p = 0.018), having ≤ secondary school education (p = 0.012). not using a cloth mask (p = 0.019), not using gloves (p = 0.028), not washing hands before lunch (p = 0.005), not cleaning clothes daily (p = 0.025), and not having established ventilation systems in the place of work (p = 0.018). Hand-and-feet numbness were associated with being male (p = 0.025), and being over 40 years (p = 0.023). Headaches were associated with being male (p = 0.028).

Conclusion

Personal hygiene is important for this occupational group, and it should be emphasized in education programs.

The Effects of Laughter Therapy for the Relief of Employment-Stress in Korean Student Nurses by Assessing Psychological Stress Salivary Cortisol and Subjective Happiness
Ji-Soo Lee, Soo-Kyoung Lee
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2020;11(1):44-52.   Published online February 28, 2020
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2020.11.1.07
  • 4,127 View
  • 114 Download
  • 4 Citations
AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives

Korean student nurses may be exposed to stress caused by their future employment (employment stress). The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of a Laughter Program on psychological stress, by assessing salivary cortisol and the subjective happiness of student nurses in order to relieve employment stress.

Methods

A quasi-experimental, non-equivalent, control-group, and pre-test/post-test was conducted in 4th year student nurses (n = 48) from 2 universities in Korea at a time when participants’ final exams and job searches were simultaneously occurring. Physiological stress (salivary cortisol), and psychological stress measured using modified Cornell Medical Index questionnaire and the Subjective Happiness Scale were used to determine the effects of the program.

Results

The results of the study showed that the Laughter Program was effective in relieving employment stress and increasing the subjective well-being of student nurses. Psychological stress (p < 0.001), salivary cortisol levels (p < 0.001), and subjective happiness (p < 0.001) were statistically significantly improved after the intervention compared with before the Laughter Program.

Conclusion

This study is an effective evidence-based intervention to reduce student nurses employment stress and improve subjective happiness.

Development of a Two Triplex Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction for Rapid Detection of Six Carbapenemase Genes in Enterobacteriaceae
Ji Ae Choi, Song Mee Bae, Jung Wook Kim, Kwang Jun Lee
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2020;11(1):53-59.   Published online February 28, 2020
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2020.11.1.08
  • 2,709 View
  • 89 Download
AbstractAbstract PDFSupplementary Material
Objectives

Carbapenem resistance is a serious clinical and public health threat. Carbapenemase can confer carbapenem resistance, and most carbapenemase genes are plasmid encoded so resistance can easily spread. In this study, we aimed to develop a novel system based on the TaqMan platform for the rapid detection of 6 clinically prevalent carbapenemase genes: Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase, New Delhi metallo-β-lactamase, oxacillinase, imipenem-hydrolyzing, Verona integron-encoded metallo-β-lactamase, and Guiana extended-spectrum β-lactamase.

Methods

The triplex assay was verified by testing genomic DNA of 6 carbapenemase-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae. It was validated with a blinded panel of 310 Enterobacteriaceae isolates, including 225 carbapenemase-producers and 85 non-producers, by direct colony triplex real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The real-time PCR was performed using the ABI 7500 fast instrument (Applied Biosystems, CA, USA) and specific primers for each carbapenemase target were designed to include modified peptide-nucleic acid oligonucleotides.

Results

No amplification was detected among the negative samples. The result showed 100% concordance with the genotypes previously identified. The entire assay, including DNA extraction and real-time PCR, was completed within 2 hours.

Conclusion

The newly developed triplex real-time PCR assay was useful for the rapid, accurate and simultaneous detection of 6 carbapenemase genes in Enterobacteriaceae, suggesting its potential to allow an early decision on the appropriate treatment, management, and prevention of the spread of resistant infections in hospitals.

Short Communication
Contact Transmission of COVID-19 in South Korea: Novel Investigation Techniques for Tracing Contacts
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2020;11(1):60-63.   Published online February 28, 2020
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2020.11.1.09
  • 31,963 View
  • 987 Download
  • 97 Citations
AbstractAbstract PDF

In the epidemiological investigation of an infectious disease, investigating, classifying, tracking, and managing contacts by identifying the patient’s route are important for preventing further transmission of the disease. However, omissions and errors in previous activities can occur when the investigation is performed through only a proxy interview with the patient. To overcome these limitations, methods that can objectively verify the patient’s claims (medical facility records, Global Positioning System, card transactions, and closed-circuit television) were used for the recent ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 contact investigations in South Korea.


PHRP : Osong Public Health and Research Perspectives