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Original Article

November 1, 2021


A comprehensive study of deaths due to exposure to humidifier disinfectant in Korea: focusing on medical records, assessment of exposure to humidifier disinfectants, and causes of death
Yeong Jun Ju, Seungho Lee, Seungsoo Sheen, Dong-Woo Choi, Jong-Han Leem, Soon Young Lee
Epidemiol Health. 2021;43:e2021091.

COVID 19: Correspondence

October 22, 2021


Letter to the Editor: Financial incentives for COVID-19 vaccination
Hyuncheol Bryant Kim
Epidemiol Health. 2021;43:e2021088.

COVID 19: Correspondence

October 22, 2021


Letter to the Editor: Enhancing COVID-19 vaccination coverage using financial incentives: arguments to help health providers counterbalance erroneous claims
Yong-jun Choi
Epidemiol Health. 2021;43:e2021087.

Original Article

October 6, 2021


Epidemiology and treatment status of hepatitis C virus infection among people who have ever injected drugs in Korea: a prospective multicenter cohort study from 2007 to 2019 in comparison with non-PWID
Kyung-Ah Kim, Gwang Hyun Choi, Eun Sun Jang, Young Seok Kim, Youn Jae Lee, In Hee Kim, Sung Bum Cho, Moran Ki, Hwa Young Choi, Dahye Paik, et al.
Epidemiol Health. 2021;43:e2021077.

COVID 19: Perspective

September 16, 2021


COVID-19 outbreak, herd immunity formation, and future public health strategies
Youngtaek Kim, Yoon Hyung Park
Epidemiol Health. 2021;43:e2021071.

Current Issue
Volume 43; 2021
Original Article A comprehensive study of deaths due to exposure to humidifier disinfectant in Korea: focusing on medical records, assessment of exposure to humidifier disinfectants, and causes of death
Yeong Jun Ju, Seungho Lee, Seungsoo Sheen, Dong-Woo Choi, et al. Epidemiol Health. 2021;43:e2021091.
  • Abstract
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  • Korean summary
COVID 19: Correspondence Letter to the Editor: Financial incentives for COVID-19 vaccination
Hyuncheol Bryant Kim Epidemiol Health. 2021;43:e2021088.
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Abstract
OBJECTIVES:
We aimed to determine the characteristics of the deceased victims of deaths caused by exposure to humidifier disinfectants, and present the distribution of the victims’ data submitted for damage application, demographic characteristics, imaging findings, characteristics of humidifier disinfectant exposure, and distribution of the causes of death.
METHODS:
An integrated database of victims was established using the medical records data of 1,413 victims submitted during the application for death damage caused by exposure to humidifier disinfectants, and the demographic characteristics, medical records, imaging findings, exposure characteristics, and cause of death were examined.
RESULTS:
The average numbers of data submissions of each applicant for death damage were 3.0 medical use records. A total of 608 (43.0%) victims had more than one finding of acute, subacute, or chronic interstitial lung diseases. The average daily and cumulative use times of the victims were 14.40 and 24,645.81 hours, respectively, indicating greater exposure in this group than in the survivors. The humidifier disinfectants’ components comprised polyhexamethylene guanidine (72.8%), chloromethylisothiazolinone/methylisothiazolinone (10.5%), other components (15.0%), and oligo-[2-(2-ethoxy)-ethoxyethyl] guanidine chloride (1.5%). The components’ distribution was 67.8% for single-component use, which was higher than that in the survivors (59.8%). The distribution of the causes of death were: respiratory diseases (54.4%), neoplasms (16.8%), and circulatory diseases (6.3%). Other interstitial lung diseases (65.5%) were the most common cause of death among those who died due to respiratory diseases.
CONCLUSIONS:
Careful discussions of appropriate remedies should be conducted based on a comprehensive understanding of the characteristics of the deceased victims, considering their specificities and limitations.
Abstract
COVID 19: Correspondence Letter to the Editor: Enhancing COVID-19 vaccination coverage using financial incentives: arguments to help health providers counterbalance erroneous claims
Yong-jun Choi Epidemiol Health. 2021;43:e2021087.
  • View article
Original Article Epidemiology and treatment status of hepatitis C virus infection among people who have ever injected drugs in Korea: a prospective multicenter cohort study from 2007 to 2019 in comparison with non-PWID
Kyung-Ah Kim, Gwang Hyun Choi, Eun Sun Jang, Young Seok Kim, et al. Epidemiol Health. 2021;43:e2021077.
  • Abstract
  • View article
  • Korean summary
Abstract
Abstract
OBJECTIVES:
Injection drug use is a major risk factor for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection; however, limited data on this topic are available in Korea. Thus, this study aimed to investigate the epidemiological and clinical characteristics, treatment uptake, and outcomes of HCV infection among people who inject drugs (PWID).
METHODS:
We used the data from the Korea HCV cohort, which prospectively enrolled patients with HCV infection between 2007 and 2019. Clinical data and results of a questionnaire survey on lifetime risk factors for HCV infection were analyzed according to a self-reported history of injection drug use (PWID vs. non-PWID group).
RESULTS:
Among the 2,468 patients, 166 (6.7%) were in the PWID group, which contained younger patients (50.6±8.2 vs. 58.2±13.1 years) and a higher proportion of male (81.9 vs. 48.8%) than the non-PWID group. The distribution of PWID showed significant regional variations. Exposure to other risk factors for HCV infection was different between the groups. The proportion of patients with genotype non-2 infection was higher in the PWID group. Treatment uptake was higher in the PWID group in the interferon era; however, it was comparable between the groups in the direct-acting antiviral era. The rate of sustained virological response did not significantly differ between the groups.
CONCLUSIONS:
As of 2019, PWID constituted a minority of HCV-infected people in Korea. The epidemiological characteristics, but not treatment uptake and outcomes, were different between the PWID and non-PWID groups. Therefore, active HCV screening and treatment should be offered to PWID in Korea.
COVID 19: Perspective COVID-19 outbreak, herd immunity formation, and future public health strategies
Youngtaek Kim, Yoon Hyung Park Epidemiol Health. 2021;43:e2021071.
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Perspective Dengue and COVID-19 infections in the ASEAN region: a concurrent outbreak of viral diseases
Lowilius Wiyono, Ian Christoper N. Rocha, Trisha Denise D. Cedeño, Adriana Viola Miranda, et al. Epidemiol Health. 2021;43:e2021070.
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Abstract
In Korea, where the successful control of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) epidemic have been implemented by the follow-up survey management (containment) of COVID-19-infected persons, the number of infected persons has increased rapidly, and a re-epidemic trend is emerging. The Korean government is strengthening epidemic prevention activities, such as increasing the social distance in the metropolitan area to four levels and increasing the vaccination rate. The public has been complaining of dissatisfaction with the atrophy of socioeconomic activities and of distrust of epidemic prevention policies. Australia started with an incidence similar to that of Korea, but its social activities are more flexible than those of Korea, where the incidence is maintained at approximately 0.1 per 100,000 people. In comparing the differences between both countries in terms of the Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker Stringency Index, it was found that Australia effectively regulates the number of infected cases by high-intensity intermittent mitigation and the subsequent allowance of social activities. Korea has also recommended a high-intensity intermittent mitigation policy as in Australia until community herd immunity via vaccination is formed.
Abstract
Member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have faced dengue outbreaks for decades, and the region has one of the highest rates of dengue globally. Outbreaks continue to occur concurrently with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in the 10 ASEAN countries. Both infectious diseases pose a tremendous burden in these countries related to both infection control and the economy. Increases in the number of dengue cases occurred in part due to disruptions in the pathogen-host-vector relationship caused by changes in human behaviour in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The spread of dengue was further aggravated by the implementation of lockdowns and social distancing policies. These measures limited the coverage of dengue preventive programs and delayed the medical management of both diseases due to co-infection and misdiagnosis. It is of the utmost importance for the population to remain aware of both diseases, and dengue vector control strategies must be devised to properly address outbreaks using digitalization and remote surveillance. Similarly, critical triage algorithms and further research are also needed to combat co-infection and misdiagnosis. Controlling the spread of COVID-19 though vaccination should also be undertaken to reduce the impact of the pandemic.

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