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The first reported hepatitis E outbreak in a food manufacturing factory: Korea, 2022
Hansol Yeom, Soonryu Seo, Youngsil Yoon, Jaeeun Lee, Myung-Guk Han, Deog-Yong Lee, Sun-Whan Park, Song A Park, Sook-Hyang Jeong, Jin Gwack
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2023;14(1):15-22.   Published online February 22, 2023
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Graphical AbstractGraphical Abstract AbstractAbstract PDF
On February 16, 2022, 12 cases of hepatitis E virus (HEV) infection were reported in a food manufacturing factory in Korea. The aim of this study was to identify additional cases and to determine the source of this HEV outbreak. Methods: This study was an in-depth investigation of 12 HEV immunoglobulin M (IgM)-positive cases and their demographic, clinical, and epidemiological characteristics. On-site specimens were collected from the environment and from humans, and a follow-up investigation was conducted 2 to 3 months after the outbreak. Results: Among 80 production workers in the factory, 12 (15.0%) had acute HEV infection, all of whom were asymptomatic. The follow-up investigation showed that 3 cases were HEV IgMpositive, while 6 were HEV IgG-positive. HEV genes were not detected in the HEV IgM-positive specimens. HEV genes were not detected in the food products or environmental specimens collected on-site. HEV was presumed to be the causative pathogen. However, it could not be confirmed that the source of infection was common consumption inside the factory. Conclusion: This was the first domestic case of an HEV infection outbreak in a food manufacturing factory in Korea. Our results provide information for the future control of outbreaks and for the preparation of measures to prevent domestic outbreaks of HEV infection.
Seroprevalence of Hepatitis A and E Viruses Based on the Third Korea National Health and Nutrition Survey in Korea
Haesun Yun, Hyeok-Jin Lee, Doosung Cheon, Chaeshin Chu, Kyung Won Oh, Young Taek Kim, Youngmee Jee
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2011;2(1):46-50.   Published online June 30, 2011
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AbstractAbstract PDF
The purpose of this study was to investigate the seroprevalence of hepatitis A virus (HAV) and hepatitis E virus (HEV) in Korea during 2005.
Study subjects were selected from across Korea using a stratified multistage probability sampling design, and HAV and HEV seroprevalence was compared on the basis of sex, age, and residency. A total of 497 rural and urban people aged 10–99 years of age (mean ± SD age = 28.87 ± 17.63 years) were selected by two-stage cluster sampling and tested serologically for anti-HAV and anti-HEV IgG using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
Among this population, the overall seroprevalence of HAV was 63.80% (55.21% aged in their 20s and 95.92% in their 30s, p < 0.01) and that of HEV was 9.40% (5.21% aged in their 20s and 7.14% in their 30s, p < 0.01). Seroprevalence also varied according to area of residence. HEV prevalence in rural areas was higher than that of urban regions based on the anti-HEV antibody, odds ratio 3.22 (95% confidence interval: 1.46–7.10, p < 0.01). There were no significant differences between male and female against anti-HAV/HEV antibodies.
Our study suggested that the seropositive rates of HAV and HEV might be related to age and environmental conditions.


Citations to this article as recorded by  
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