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Original Article An epidemiologic investigation of 1980 cholera epidemic with special emphasis on source and route of transmission in the area where the first case was notified
J.S Kim, B.U No, S.Y Ahn, J.A Lee, B.J Park, C.K Chang, J.K Doo, S.S Kim, J.G Yoo, J.S Choi
Epidemiol Health 1980;2(1):26-42
DOI: https://doi.org/
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An epidemiologic investigation on cholera epidemic was conducted from October 2 through October 8, 1980, in order to determine the source and the route of transmission in An Jwa Myon of Sin An Kun where the first cholera case was notified officially at the end of August 1980. 875 persons out of 1,608 people inhabiting in five villages of An Jwa Myon where the primary case of cholera occurred within September 5, were interviewed for their activities including travel history, foods taken, attendence to group feeding, place of purchase for a subsidiary food materials, source of drinking water and other relevant information. Since a few evidences that cholera was imported to the area from Mok Po City were collected during the survey, medical records of 5 general hospitals of Mok Po were reviewed and 18 suspicious patients were traced for interview. Also the number of death occurred in Mok Po population during last three years by month was obtained from the registration. These data were analysed and compared with that of previous years for the same month to estimate an excess number of patients and death due to diarrhea suspicious of cholera. The study area An Jwa Myon is consisted of several islands, and ferry boats are the only mean of transportation between the islands and/or Mok Po City. The major industry of the islands for living is agriculture. Despite being islands there was no single member of crew engaged in foreign voyage. Daily goods are purchased and brought from Mok Po. General status of environmental sanitation, i. e., sewage, toilets, and kitchen is poor, and only limited number of households in one village are supplied with piped water. The socieconomic status is much lower than the Korean average. The results of the investigation provided several evidences that the cholera outbreak in these islands was not the primary site in Korea but rather imported from Mok Po in where unnoticed cholera epidemic had been going on discretely from the end of July throughout August 1980. The epidemiologic study indicated that the cholera was induced to the island from Mok po through raw sharks served in a memorial ceremony on August 27 and 28, which was spoiled. The outbreak was triggered by funeral food serving on August 30, 31, and September 1 to which almost all of adult population in the vicinity were exposed, and an half of the attendants got sick. The funeral was for one of eight victims who became sick after eating raw shark at the memorial ceremony, other one, relatively serious, was admitted to a hospital in Mok po, two were treated at local clinic, and the others were either treated at drug store or at home and all recovered but one who deceased. The sharks were presummed to be contaminated in Mok Po.

Epidemiol Health : Epidemiology and Health