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Cholera Outbreak due to Raw Seafood Consumption in South Korea, 2016

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  • 1 Division of infectious Disease Control, Center for Infectious Disease Control, Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Cheongju, Republic of Korea;
  • | 2 Division of Enteric Diseases, Center for Infectious Disease, Korea National Institute of Health, Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Cheongju, Republic of Korea;
  • | 3 Division of Vaccine Research, Center for Infectious Disease, Korea National Institute of Health, Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Cheongju, Republic of Korea;
  • | 4 National Yeosu Quarantine Station, Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Cheongju, Republic of Korea

Three cases of cholera occurred in South Korea during a period of three weeks in August 2016. All the cases were associated with the consumption of raw seafood in southern coastal area of South Korea. Epidemiologic investigations were performed to track the spread of cholera, including persons in contact with the cholera patients, seafood, and seawater from the fish tank and marine environments. A microbiological investigation demonstrated that cholera isolated from the three patients and a seawater sample at the Korea Strait showed identical serotype (O1 Ogawa), biotype (El tor), and toxin (ctx-positive). Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis analysis showed that the three clinical strains are identical (100%) and shared 97% identity with the seawater sample.

Author Notes

Address correspondence to Enhi Cho, Center for Infectious Disease Control, Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 187 Osongsaengmyeng 2(i)-ro, Osong-eup, Cheongju-si, Chungcheongbuk-do 363-951, Republic of Korea. E-mail: cho6404@korea.kr

Ethics approval: This study was approved by the international review board of KCDC (IRB: 2017-01-05-PE-A).

Authors’ addresses: Jeong Hyun Kim, Jin Lee, and Enhi Cho, Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of infectious Disease Control, Cheongju, Chungcheongbuk-do, Republic of Korea, E-mails: docto95@naver.com, kkyao@korea.kr, and cho6404@korea.kr. Sahyun Hong, Hae-young Na, Junyoung Kim, and Hyo Sun Kawk, Korea National Institute of Health, Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Enteric Diseases, Cheongju, Republic of Korea, E-mails: strepto13@korea.kr, orangewd@naver.com, jun49@korea.kr, and kwakhyos@korea.kr. Sangwon Lee, Korea National Institute of Health, Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Vaccine Research, Cheongju, Republic of Korea, E-mail: epilsw@korea.kr. Young-Il Jeong and Eun Jin Choi, Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Yeosu Quarantine Station, Cheongju, Republic of Korea, E-mails: woojusun012@korea.kr and cej417@korea.kr.

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