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MERS-Original Article
Epidemiologic features of the first MERS outbreak in Korea: focus on Pyeongtaek St. Mary’s Hospital
Kyung Min Kim, Moran Ki, Sung-il Cho, Minki Sung, Jin Kwan Hong, Hae-Kwan Cheong, Jong-Hun Kim, Sang-Eun Lee, Changhwan Lee, Keon-Joo Lee, Yong-Shik Park, Seung Woo Kim, Bo Youl Choi
Epidemiol Health. 2015;37:e2015041.   Published online September 17, 2015
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AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
This study investigated the epidemiologic features of the confirmed cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in Pyeongtaek St. Mary’s Hospital, where the outbreak first began, in order to identify lessons relevant for the prevention and control of future outbreaks.
The patients’ clinical symptoms and test results were collected from their medical records. The caregivers of patients were identified by phone calls.
After patient zero (case #1) was admitted to Pyeongtaek St. Mary’s Hospital (May 15-May 17), an outbreak occurred, with 36 cases between May 18 and June 4, 2015. Six patients died (fatality rate, 16.7%). Twenty-six cases occurred in the first-generation, and 10 in the second-generation. The median incubation period was five days, while the median period from symptom onset to death was 12.5 days. While the total attack rate was 3.9%, the attack rate among inpatients was 7.6%, and the inpatients on the eighth floor, where patient zero was hospitalized, had an 18.6% attack rate. In contrast, caregivers and medical staff showed attack rates of 3.3% and 1.1%, respectively.
The attack rates were higher than those of the previous outbreaks in other countries. The outbreak spread beyond Pyeongtaek St. Mary’s Hospital when four of the patients were moved to other hospitals without appropriate quarantine. The best method of preventing future outbreaks is to overcome the vulnerabilities observed in this outbreak, such as ward crowding, patient migration without appropriate data sharing, and the lack of an initial broad quarantine.
Korean summary
평택성모병원에서는 총 36명의 메르스 환자가 발생하여 이중 6명이 사망하였다. 또한 평택성모병원 유행의 발병률은 기존에 알려진 것보다 높았다. 한국의 메르스 유행이 시작된 평택성모병원에서 나타난 초기 방역 부족, 적절한 정보공유 없이 환자들이 병원간에 이동하는 것, 혼잡한 병동 문제 등의 감염병 전파 취약점을 극복하는 것이 향후 새로운 감염병 유행을 막을 수 있는 최선의 방법이 될 것이다.


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