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Korean Journal of Epidemiology 1991;13(2): 112-122.
Epidemiological characteristics of cholera epidemic in Korea, 1991.
Hee Choul Oh, Jong Ku Park, Mook Shik Kim, Kyoo Sang Kim, Sun Ha Jee, Soon Young Lee, Sun Hee Lee
From July 30th through September 9th, 1991, 188 cases of cholera were reported throughout most provinces in Korea. Of the cases 92 were bacteriologically confirmed and 96 were diagnosed by clinical symptoms. Through screening of the cholera epidemic area residents 58 inapparent infections were discovered and 8 deaths occurred. A population interview survey was conducted to the people inhabiting the five villages at the two epidemic foci, Sochon and Okgu. Other various information sources such as reported cases to health centers or quarantine stations, medical records of some hospitals, and laboratory findings of National Institute of Health were used to describe the cholera epidemic. Data from these sources were rearranged and analysed on an individual bases. Epidemiological characteristics of the 1991 cholera epidemic of Korea are as follows: 1. Vibrio cholerae biotype El Tor, sero type Ogawa was the causitive agent. 2. The epidemic duration was 25 days from August 13th to September 7th. 3. Epidemiological investigation of the two epidemic foci-Sochon, and Okgu counties-in the west coastal regions of the Korean penisula-revealed that 155 cases occurred in explosive outbreaks amounting to 82.5% of the total 188 noted cholera cases. 4. The epidemic curve of the 1991 cholera epidemic showed that of a typical point-source outbreak suggesting that there were few secondary infected cases. 5. Lower incidence rates among younger age groups and higher incidence rates among older age groups were noted. These findings support that this cholera outbreak was epidemic not endemic. These findings suggest that epidemiological characteristecs of the 1991 cholera epidemic differ from those of 1980 or before, in number of patients, duration of epidemic and the epidemic curve pattern. The authors suspect that improved national and personal hygiene might explain the difference.


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