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Original Articles
COVID-19 outbreak response at a nursing hospital in South Korea in the post-vaccination era, including an estimation of the effectiveness of the first shot of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine (ChAdOx1-S)
Chanhee Kim, Geon Kang, Sun Gu Kang, Heeyoung Lee
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2022;13(2):114-122.   Published online April 26, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2021.0262
  • 1,103 View
  • 51 Download
AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
We descriptively reviewed a coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak at a nursing hospital in Gyeonggi Province (South Korea) and assessed the effectiveness of the first dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in a real-world population. Methods: The general process of the epidemiological investigation included a public health intervention. The relative risk (RR) of vaccinated and unvaccinated groups was calculated and compared to confirm the risk of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARSCoV-2) infection, and vaccine effectiveness was evaluated based on the calculated RR. Results: The population at risk was confined to ward E among 8 wards of Hospital X, where the outbreak occurred. This population comprised 55 people, including 39 patients, 12 nurses, and 4 caregivers, and 19 cases were identified. The RR between the vaccinated and unvaccinated groups was 0.04, resulting in a vaccine effectiveness of 95.3%. The vaccination rate of the nonpatients in ward E was the lowest in the entire hospital, whereas the overall vaccination rate of the combined patient and non-patient groups in ward E was the third lowest. Conclusion: The first dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine (ChAdOx1-S) was effective in preventing SARS-CoV-2 infection. To prevent COVID-19 outbreaks in medical facilities, it is important to prioritize the vaccination of healthcare providers.
Delays in the diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis during the COVID-19 outbreak in the Republic of Korea in 2020
Jiyeon Yang, Yunhyung Kwon, Jaetae Kim, Yoojin Jang, Jiyeon Han, Daae Kim, Hyeran Jeong, Hyekyung Park, Eunhye Shim
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2021;12(5):293-303.   Published online September 23, 2021
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2021.0063
  • 3,405 View
  • 130 Download
  • 2 Citations
Graphical AbstractGraphical Abstract AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
We investigated the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on tuberculosis (TB) management in the Republic of Korea (ROK).
Methods
This retrospective cross-sectional study used nationwide ROK TB notification data (98,346 cases) from 2017 to 2020. The median time from the onset of TB symptoms to treatment initiation and the compliance rates with the required timing for notification and individual case investigations were measured and compared across periods and regions affected by the COVID-19 epidemic.
Results
TB diagnosis during the COVID-19 pandemic was delayed. The median time to TB treatment initiation (25 days) in 2020 increased by 3 days compared to that of the previous 3 years (22 days) (p<0.0001). In the outbreak in Seoul, Incheon, and Gyeonggi province during August, the time to TB diagnosis was 4 days longer than in the previous 3 years (p=0.0303). In the outbreak in Daegu and Gyeongbuk province from February to March 2020, the compliance rate with the required timing for individual case investigations was 2.2%p points lower than in other areas in 2020 (p=0.0148). For public health centers, the rate was 13%p lower than in other areas (80.3% vs. 93.3%, p=0.0003).
Conclusion
TB diagnoses during the COVID-19 pandemic in the ROK were delayed nationwide, especially for patients notified by public-private mix TB control hospitals. TB individual case investigations were delayed in regional COVID-19 outbreak areas (Daegu and Gyeongbuk province), especially in public health centers. Developing strategies to address this issue will be helpful for sustainable TB management during future outbreaks.
Alarm Thresholds for Pertussis Outbreaks in Iran: National Data Analysis
Yousef Alimohamadi, Seyed Mohsen Zahraei, Manoochehr Karami, Mehdi Yaseri, Mojtaba Lotfizad, Kourosh Holakouie-Naieni
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2020;11(5):309-318.   Published online October 22, 2020
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2020.11.5.07
  • 2,746 View
  • 40 Download
  • 1 Citations
AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives

The purpose of the current study was to determine the upper threshold number of cases for which pertussis infection would reach an outbreak level nationally in Iran.

Methods

Data on suspected cases of pertussis from the 25th February 2012 to the 23rd March 2018 from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Iran was used. The national upper threshold level was estimated using the exponentially weighted moving average (EWMA) method and the Poisson regression method.

Results

In total, 2,577 (33.6%) and 1,714 (22.3%) cases were reported in the Spring and Summer respectively. There were 1,417 (18.5%) and 1,971 (25.6%) cases reported in the Autumn and Winter, respectively. The overall upper threshold using the EWMA and the Poisson regression methods, was estimated as a daily occurrence of 8 (7.55) and 7.50 (4.48–11.06) suspected cases per 10,000,000 people, respectively. The daily seasonal thresholds estimated by the EWMA and the Poisson regression methods were 10, 7, 6, 8 cases and 10, 7, 7, 9 cases for the Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter, respectively.

Conclusion

The overall and seasonal estimated thresholds by the 2 methods were similar. Therefore, the estimated thresholds of 6–10 cases in a day, per 10,000,000 people could be used to detect pertussis outbreaks and epidemics by health policymakers.

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
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2020.11.5.03
  • 3,062 View
  • 84 Download
AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives

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.

Methods

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.

Results

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.

Conclusion

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.

Invited Original Article
Incubation Period of Ebola Hemorrhagic Virus Subtype Zaire
Martin Eichner, Scott F. Dowell, Nina Firese
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2011;2(1):3-7.   Published online June 30, 2011
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phrp.2011.04.001
  • 2,037 View
  • 14 Download
  • 39 Citations
AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
Ebola hemorrhagic fever has killed over 1300 people, mostly in equatorial Africa. There is still uncertainty about the natural reservoir of the virus and about some of the factors involved in disease transmission. Until now, a maximum incubation period of 21 days has been assumed.
Methods
We analyzed data collected during the Ebola outbreak (subtype Zaire) in Kikwit, Democratic Republic of the Congo, in 1995 using maximum likelihood inference and assuming a log-normally distributed incubation period.
Results
The mean incubation period was estimated to be 12.7 days (standard deviation 4.31 days), indicating that about 4.1% of patients may have incubation periods longer than 21 days.
Conclusion
If the risk of new cases is to be reduced to 1% then 25 days should be used when investigating the source of an outbreak, when determining the duration of surveillance for contacts, and when declaring the end of an outbreak.

PHRP : Osong Public Health and Research Perspectives