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Original Article Epidemiologic Investigation into the Outbreak of Acute Hemorrhagic Conjunctivitis in Gyeongju-City, South Korea, in 2002.
Hong Hwan Kim, Hyun Sul Lim, Young Sun Min
Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health 2004;37(4):312-320
Published online: November 30, 2004
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Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Dongguk University, Korea.

An outbreak of acute hemorrhagic conjunctivitis (AHC) caused by coxsackie A24 (CA24) virus occurred in South Korea in 2002. CA24 was isolated for the first time from patients with AHC. Therefore, this study was conducted to understand the transmission routes and prevent another AHC outbreaks. METHODS: The authors conducted a questionnaire survey among 1, 730 students from 2 middle schools and 1 technical high school in Gyeongju city. For statistical analysis the chi-square test was used, and chi-square for trend method showing a level of significance less than p< 0.05 was proven to be significant. Variables which were proven to be significant in univariate analysis were analysed by multiple logistic regression. RESULTS: The attack rate was 57.1%. The student groups with rubbing one's own eyes, computer usage, and sharing cellular phone had a significantly higher AHC attack rate (p< 0.05). According to the multiple logistic regression, the odds ratios for male, high school, computer use, sharing cellular phone, and rubbing one's own eyes were significant (p< 0.05). CONCLUSION: The most significant feature of this outbreak was that many students rubbed their own eyes following contact with AHC patients in a deliberate attempt to avoid going to school. Other transmission methods were computer usage and sharing cellular phone. In the future, health and school authorities must plan new strategies for the prevention of AHC.

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JPMPH : Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health