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MERS-Epidemiologic Investigation
MERS epidemiological investigation to detect potential mode of transmission in the 178th MERS confirmed case in Pyeongtaek, Korea
Kyujin Chang, Moran Ki, Eun Gyu Lee, Soon Young Lee, Byoungin Yoo, Jong Hyuk Choi
Epidemiol Health. 2015;37:e2015036.   Published online August 15, 2015
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AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Most cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) infection in Korea (outbreak: May 11-July 4, 2015) occurred in hospital settings, with uncertain transmission modes in some cases. We performed an in-depth investigation epidemiological survey on the 178th case to determine the precise mode of transmission. A 29- year-old man living in Pyeongtaek presented on June 16 with a febrile sensation, chills, and myalgia. Upon confirmatory diagnosis on June 23, he was treated in an isolation room and discharged on July 2 after cure. An epidemiological investigation of all possible infection routes indicated two likely modes of transmission: exposure to MERS in Pyeongtaek St. Mary’s Hospital during a visit to his hospitalized father (May 18-29), and infection through frequent contact with his father between the latter’s referral to Pyeongtaek Good Samaritan Bagae Hospital for treatment without confirmatory diagnosis until his death (May 29-June 6). Although lack of clear proof or evidence to the contrary does not allow a definitive conclusion, all other possibilities could be excluded by epidemiological inferences. While it is impossible to trace back the modes of transmission of all cases in a large-scale outbreak, case-by-case tracking and isolation of infected individuals and those in close contact with them is important in preventing the spread. Efforts should be made to establish a methodology for rapid tracking of all possible contacts and elimination-based identification of the precise modes of transmission.
Korean summary
이 논문은 2015년 한국에서 새롭게 발생한 감염병인 메르스 유행 중, 감염경로가 불분명하였던 178번째 환자에 대한 심층 역학조사 과정과 결과를 기술한 것이며, 조사를 통해 얻은 교훈을 학계 및 관계자들과 공유하고자 한다. 조사 결과, 다른 사례들과 마찬가지로 병원감염으로 볼 수 있음을 밝힌다.


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