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Enhancing ‘Whole-of-Government’ Response to Biological Events in Korea: Able Response 2014
Sangwoo Tak, Anton Jareb, Suon Choi, Marvin Sikes, Yeon Hwa Choi, Hyeong-wook Boo
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2018;9(1):32-35.   Published online December 31, 2017
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  • 34 Download
  • 1 Citations
AbstractAbstract PDF

Since 2011, the Republic of Korea (ROK) and United States (U.S.) have been collaborating to conduct inter- and intra-governmental exercises to jointly respond to biological events in Korea. These exercises highlight U.S. interest in increasing its global biosurveillance capability and the ROK’s interest in improving cooperation among ministries to respond to crises. With Able Response (AR) exercises, the ROK and U.S. have improved coordination among US and ROK government and defense agencies responding to potential bio-threats and identified additional areas on which to apply refinements in policies and practices. In 2014, the AR exercise employed a Biosurveillance Portal (BSP) to facilitate more effective communication among participating agencies and countries including Australia. In the present paper, we seek to provide a comprehensive assessment of the AR 2014 (AR14) exercise and make recommendations for future improvements. Incorporating a more realistic response in future scenarios by integrating a tactical response episode in the exercise is recommended.

Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever and the Current State of Vaccine Development
Joo Eun Hong, Kee-Jong Hong, Woo Young Choi, Won-Ja Lee, Yeon Hwa Choi, Chung-Hyeon Jeong, Kwang-il Cho
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2014;5(6):378-382.   Published online December 31, 2014
  • 1,575 View
  • 15 Download
  • 5 Citations
AbstractAbstract PDF
Current Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa already reached the total number of 1,323 including 729 deaths by July 31st. the fatality is around 55% in the southeastern area of Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Nigeria. The number of patients with Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever (EHF) was continuously increasing even though the any effective therapeutics or vaccines has not been developed yet. The Ebola virus in Guinea showed 98% homology with Zaire Ebola Virus.Study of the pathogenesis of Ebola virus infection and assess of the various candidates of vaccine have been tried for a long time, especially in United States and some European countries. Even though the attenuated live vaccine and DNA vaccine containing Ebola viral genes were tested and showed efficacy in chimpanzees, those candidates still need clinical tests requiring much longer time than the preclinical development to be approved for the practical treatment.It can be expected to eradicate Ebola virus by a safe and efficient vaccine development similar to the case of smallpox virus which was extinguished from the world by the variola vaccine.
Epidemiological Characteristics of Imported Shigellosis in Korea, 2010–2011
Hee-Jung Kim, Seung-Ki Youn, Sangwon Lee, Yeon Hwa Choi
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2013;4(3):159-165.   Published online June 30, 2013
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  • 17 Download
  • 5 Citations
AbstractAbstract PDF
Shigellosis is a global disease as food poisoning by infection of Shigella spp (S. dysenteriae, S. flexneri, S. boydii and S. sonnei). In Korea, approximately 500 cases of shigellosis have reported every year since 2004, and imported shigellosis is increasing gradually from 2006 in particular. According to increase of numbers of overseas travelers, the numbers of patients diseased with imported shigellosis is also increasing. We need continuous surveillance studies network (SSN) for control of imported shigellosis. We studied epidemiological characteristic of imported shigellosis by using database of Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) from 2010 to 2011. The imported shigellosis is analyzed on correlation with variable factors such as sex, age, symptom, visited country as well as Shigella spp in the database. Total 399 patients diseased with shigellosis have been reported between 2010 and 2011, The 212 patients (53.1%) among them were disease with imported shigellosis and the 205 patients (96.7%) were diagnosed as definite shigellosis. Shigella sonnei (65.6%) and Shigella flexneri (20.3%) were isolated in order. Clinical symptoms of the shigellosis were diarrhea (96.5%), abdominal pain (54.7%), fever (52.8%), chill (31.6%), and weakness (21.7% etc) in order. Duration of diarrhea was 1 to 5 days, the number of diarrhea was mostly more than 10 times, and type of stool was almost yellow stool. Almost shigellosis was occurred in the travelers visited to Asia (98.1%). Particularly, the occurrence rate of shigellosis was highest in traveler visited to Southeast Asia which is India (21.7%), Cambodia (19.8%), Philippines (17.9%), and Vietnam (9.0%) in order. According to increase of traveler to Southeast Asia, imported Shigellosis also increased. We need to strengthen the public health and hygiene, which is infection prevention rules, eating properly-cook food, washing hands, drinking boiled water, for traveler to Asia. The quarantine and surveillance system to control imported shigellosis is need continually in Korea.
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
  • 1,529 View
  • 13 Download
  • 14 Citations
AbstractAbstract PDF
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.
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.
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.
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