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Original Articles
Trends in recent waterborne and foodborne disease outbreaks in South Korea, 2015–2019
Sang Hyuk Lee, Jae-Won Yun, Ji Hee Lee, Yeon Haw Jung, Dong Han Lee
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2021;12(2):73-79.   Published online April 29, 2021
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2021.12.2.04
  • 3,502 View
  • 121 Download
  • 4 Citations
AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
This study analyzed trends in foodborne and waterborne diseases in South Korea between 2015 and 2019.
Methods
The data consisted of information on outbreaks of waterborne and foodborne infectious diseases reported through the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) system. We analyzed the trends and epidemiological aspects of outbreaks by month, place of occurrence, and causative pathogens in this observational study.
Results
The number of outbreaks has steadily increased over the last 5 years, but the number of cases per outbreak has followed a decreasing trend. Incidence at daycare centers and preschools has been steadily increasing over consecutive years.
Conclusion
The steady number of patients and decreasing number of cases per outbreak, even as the number of outbreaks has been increasing, suggest that the KCDC’s professional management system is operating effectively. It is necessary to continue improving the objectivity and efficiency of the management system and to carefully examine the increasing number of outbreaks in smaller-scale group catering facilities, such as daycare centers and preschools. Outbreaks can be prevented by closely examining those caused by unidentified pathogens and group outbreaks caused by other diseases, identifying problems, and supplementing the management system.
Risk of Water and Food-Borne Communicable Diseases in Travelers Entering Korea
Kyung Sook Jung, Yu Mi Jang, Ji Hye Hwang, Gi Jun Park, Tae Jong Son
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2019;10(4):215-220.   Published online August 31, 2019
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2019.10.4.03
  • 2,961 View
  • 163 Download
AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives

It was supposed to analyze status and affecting factors in water and food-borne communicable disease by screening entrants with diarrhea symptom at the point of entry in Korea

Methods

Symptomatic travelers with water and food-borne communicable diseases who entered Korea were diagnosed by a health declaration and detection of causative agents in water and food using laboratory tests. Among those entered in 2017, the affecting factors in the incidence of communicable diseases among those who had diarrhea at the entry into Korea, were analyzed, with frequency and chi-square test.

Results

The number of travel entrants with gastrointestinal communicable diseases increased by 40.19% from 2013 to 2017. The percentage of causative agents of water and food-borne communicable diseases was the highest at 69.2% from July to September. The rate of detection of causative agents of communicable disease pathogens in travelers from Southeast Asia entering Korea was 70.2%, which was higher than people arriving from East Asia and Central Asia (57.5%; p < 0.001).

Conclusion

The positive ratio of causative agents of water and food-borne communicable diseases was high among travelers that had entered Korea from July to September, with a high number among entrants from Southeast Asia. Based on the positive detection of causative agents, the entry period and countries visited were statistically significant affecting factors (p < 0.001).

Foodborne Illness Outbreaks in Gyeonggi Province, Korea, Following Seafood Consumption Potentially Caused by Kudoa septempunctata between 2015 and 2016
Joon Jai Kim, Sukhyun Ryu, Heeyoung Lee
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2018;9(2):66-72.   Published online April 30, 2018
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2018.9.2.05
  • 3,047 View
  • 65 Download
  • 7 Citations
AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives

Investigations into foodborne illness, potentially caused by Kudoa septempunctata, has been ongoing in Korea since 2015. However, epidemiological analysis reporting and positive K septempunctata detection in feces in Korea has been limited. The aim of this study was to provide epidemiologic data analysis of possible food poisoning caused by K septempunctata in Korea.

Methods

This study reviewed 16 Kudoa outbreak investigation reports, including suspected cases between 2015 and 2016 in Gyeonggi province, Korea. Suspected Kudoa foodborne illness outbreak was defined as “evidence of K septempunctata in at least one sample.” The time and place of outbreak, patient symptoms and Kudoa (+) detection rate in feces was analyzed.

Results

Kudoa foodborne illness outbreaks occurred in most patients in August (22.6%) and in most outbreaks in April (25%). The attack rate was 53.9% and the average attack rate in patients who had consumed olive flounder was 64.7%. The average incubation period was 4.3 hours per outbreak. Diarrhea was the most common symptom which was reported by 91.5% patients. The Kudoa (+) detection rate in feces was 69.2% of cases.

Conclusion

Monthly distribution of Kudoa foodborne illness was different from previous studies. The Kudoa (+) detection rate in feces decreased rapidly between 25.5 and 28.5 hours of the time interval from food intake to epidemiologic survey. To identify effective period of time of investigation, we believe additional study with extended number of cases is necessary.

Brief Report
Trends in Water- and Foodborne Disease Outbreaks in Korea, 2007–2009
Jin Gwack, Kyoung-Chan Lee, Hyo Jin Lee, Wooseok Kwak, Dong Woo Lee, Yeon Hwa Choi, Jin Seok Kim, Young Ah Kang
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2010;1(1):50-54.   Published online December 31, 2010
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phrp.2010.12.011
  • 1,869 View
  • 13 Download
  • 14 Citations
AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
In Korea, every outbreak of acute gastroenteritis in two or more patients who are epidemiologically related is investigated by local public health centres to determine causative agents and control the outbreak with the support of the Korean Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The findings and conclusions of each outbreak investigation have been summarized annually since 2007 to make reports and statistics of water- and foodborne disease outbreaks.
Methods
All outbreaks reported to Korean Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 2007 to 2009 were included in the study. We analysed the trends and epidemiologic aspects of outbreaks by month, year, and location.
Results
The total number of outbreaks decreased steadily each year for the period the study covered, whereas the number of patients per outbreak continued to increase resulting from a dramatic increase in the number of patients per outbreak in food service establishments. The outbreaks occurred in the period of June to September, when temperature and humidity are relatively high, which accounted for 44.3% of total outbreaks. The monthly number of outbreaks decreased steadily until November after peaking in May 2009. The most common causative agent was norovirus (16.5%) followed by pathogenic Escherichia coli. The rate of causative agent identification was 60.1%, with higher identification rates in larger outbreaks.
Conclusions
Although a decreasing trend of outbreaks by year was observed in the study, the food services in schools and companies require more attention to hygiene and sanitation to prevent large outbreaks. The ability to establish the cause of an outbreak should be further improved.

PHRP : Osong Public Health and Research Perspectives