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Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health 2005;38(4): 420-424.
Alibi Verification and the PCR Method to Estimate the Source of Epidemic for a Few Notified Cases of S. sonnei.
Sin Jae Lee, Dai ha Koh, Chai Hyun Yoon
1Gangseogu Health Center, Seoul, Korea.
2Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Chonbuk National University, Korea.
3Department of Preventive Medicine, Graduate School of Public Health, Seoul National University, Korea.
OBJECTIVES: A few culture-confirmed cases of S. sonnei have been notified from Korean hospitals. The source of epidemic can't be firmly determined in such cases because of the rarity of this illness in the local communities and the timing of the outbreaks. The objective of this study is to estimate the source of epidemic by investigating the patients' lifestyles. METHODS: Alibi verification was used to access the presumed source of the epidemic. PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) was used to rapidly detect the genes of Shigella in water specimens. RESULTS: The common lifestyle trait among the Shigellainfected patients was connected with Mt. Martyr in J city, Korea. The first patient's son had gone on a pilgrimage to Mt. Martyr with 41 friends and he had only eaten rice cakes on April 5th; the second patients had visited Mt. Martyr with their mother for a picnic on April 12th; the third patient had visited Mt. Martyr with 22 friends for a pilgrimage and the patient had only drunk holy water on April 13th. Therefore, the holy water of Mt. Martyr was reckoned to be the source of the epidemic. PCR detected the genes of Shigella two days before the S. sonnei was confirmed. CONCLUSION: The patients' lifestyles for 7 days before the onset of symptoms should be determined in terms of time, place and contacted people to find the source of infection when cases with food poisoning are seen in the hospital setting.
Key words: Alibi verification; PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction)
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