Outbreak of measles in the Republic of Korea, 2007: Importance of nosocomial transmission

Won Suk Choi, David H. Sniadack, Youngmee Jee, Un Yeong Go, Jae Sung So, Heeyeon Cho, Geun Ryang Bae, Dong Han Lee, Kisoon Kim, Hee Sook Yoon, Yoon Seok Chung, Chun Kang, Hyekyung Park, Ok Park, Jong Koo Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


Background. From 2002 through 2006, Republic of Korea conducted extensive measles elimination activities and declared elimination in 2006. An outbreak of measles involving 180 confirmed cases occurred during 2007. Methods. An outbreak investigation was performed and enhanced surveillance was implemented. Detailed case investigations and laboratory testing included serologic and molecular diagnostic methods. Cases were classified according to World Health Organization and national guidelines. Results. During 2007, 451 suspected cases were reported and 180 (40%) cases were confirmed as measles during epidemiologic weeks 14-42. Incidence during the outbreak was 3.7 cases per million persons, excluding imported cases. Most confirmed cases were reported from Seoul; 137 (76%) cases were among children <24 months old, 124 (69%) case patients had no history of measles vaccination, and 81 (45%) case patients resulted from nosocomial transmission in 6 hospitals. Community members, patients, and health care workers all contributed to measles virus transmission. Limited outbreak control measures were implemented; high population immunity likely accounted for the self-limited transmission during this outbreak. Conclusions. Limited outbreaks of measles, in which nosocomial transmission can play an important role, may occur after countries have declared elimination. Timely and opportunistic vaccination may help prevent such outbreaks; high-quality surveillance is critical for their detection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S483-S490
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Jul 1
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Supplement sponsorship: This article is part of a supplement entitled ''Global Progress Toward Measles Eradication and Prevention of Rubella and Congenital Rubella Syndrome,'' which was sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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