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PHRP : Osong Public Health and Research Perspectives



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Original Article
2019 Tabletop Exercise for Laboratory Diagnosis and Analyses of Unknown Disease Outbreaks by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Il-Hwan Kim, Jun Hyeong Jang, Su-Kyoung Jo, Jin Sun No, Seung-Hee Seo, Jun-Young Kim, Sang-Oun Jung, Jeong-Min Kim, Sang-Eun Lee, Hye-Kyung Park, Eun-Jin Kim, Jun Ho Jeon, Myung-Min Choi, Boyeong Ryu, Yoon Suk Jang, Hwami Kim, Jin Lee, Seung-Hwan Shin, Hee Kyoung Kim, Eun-Kyoung Kim, Ye Eun Park, Cheon-Kwon Yoo, Sang-Won Lee, Myung-Guk Han, Gi-Eun Rhie, Byung Hak Kang
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2020;11(5):280-285.   Published online October 22, 2020
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AbstractAbstract PDF

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has published “A Guideline for Unknown Disease Outbreaks (UDO).” The aim of this report was to introduce tabletop exercises (TTX) to prepare for UDO in the future.


The UDO Laboratory Analyses Task Force in Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in April 2018, assigned unknown diseases into 5 syndromes, designed an algorithm for diagnosis, and made a panel list for diagnosis by exclusion. Using the guidelines and laboratory analyses for UDO, TTX were introduced.


Since September 9th, 2018, the UDO Laboratory Analyses Task Force has been preparing TTX based on a scenario of an outbreak caused by a novel coronavirus. In December 2019, through TTX, individual missions, epidemiological investigations, sample treatments, diagnosis by exclusions, and next generation sequencing analysis were discussed, and a novel coronavirus was identified as the causal pathogen.


Guideline and laboratory analyses for UDO successfully applied in TTX. Conclusions drawn from TTX could be applied effectively in the analyses for the initial response to COVID-19, an ongoing epidemic of 2019 – 2020. Therefore, TTX should continuously be conducted for the response and preparation against UDO.

Short Communication
Detection of Novel Coronavirus on the Surface of Environmental Materials Contaminated by COVID-19 Patients in the Republic of Korea
Sang-Eun Lee, Deog-Yong Lee, Wook-Gyo Lee, ByeongHak Kang, Yoon Suk Jang, Boyeong Ryu, SeungJae Lee, Hyunjung Bahk, Eungyu Lee
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2020;11(3):128-132.   Published online May 8, 2020
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  • 18 Citations
AbstractAbstract PDF

This study aimed to determine the presence of SARS-CoV-2 on surfaces frequently touched by COVID-19 patients, and assess the scope of contamination and transmissibility in facilities where the outbreaks occurred. In the course of this epidemiological investigation, a total of 80 environmental specimens were collected from 6 hospitals (68 specimens) and 2 “mass facilities” (6 specimens from a rehabilitation center and 6 specimens from an apartment building complex). Specific reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction targeting of RNA-dependent RNA polymerase, and envelope genes, were used to identify the presence of this novel coronavirus. The 68 specimens from 6 hospitals (A, B, C, D, E, and G), where prior disinfection/cleaning had been performed before environmental sampling, tested negative for SARS-CoV-2. However, 2 out of 12 specimens (16.7%) from 2 “mass facilities” (F and H), where prior disinfection/cleaning had not taken place, were positive for SARS-CoV-2 RNA polymerase, and envelope genes. These results suggest that prompt disinfection and cleaning of potentially contaminated surfaces is an effective infection control measure. By inactivating SARS-CoV-2 with disinfection/cleaning the infectivity and transmission of the virus is blocked. This investigation of environmental sampling may help in the understanding of risk assessment of the COVID-19 outbreak in “mass facilities” and provide guidance in using effective disinfectants on contaminated surfaces.

PHRP : Osong Public Health and Research Perspectives