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Jpn J Infect Dis. 2013;66(4):331-3.

Retrospective analysis of epidemiological aspects of Vibrio vulnificus infections in Korea in 2001-2010.

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Barrow Neurological Institute, St. Joseph's Hospital & Medical Center, Phoenix, AZ, USA.


In this study, we performed a retrospective, quantitative analysis of the epidemiological aspects and risk factors of Vibrio vulnificus infections in Korea from 2001 to 2010. In a total of 588 V. vulnificus infection cases (prevalence rate, 0.12 cases/100,000 persons), 285 were fatal (case-fatality rate [CFR], 48.5%). Males were more significantly infected by V. vulnificus than females (86.1% versus 13.9%; P < 0.01), and a higher incidence of V. vulnificus infections was observed in people aged more than 40 years (95.1%; P < 0.01). Moreover, most V. vulnificus infections occurred in the unemployed (42.0%; P < 0.01). The seasonal patterns of outbreaks revealed that most outbreaks occurred in June (early summer) throughout November (the end of autumn) (99.6%; P < 0.01), and significantly more outbreaks occurred in the southern part (65.3%) of the Korean peninsula compared with those in the northern (29.4%) and central (5.3%) parts (P < 0.01). In addition, the number of V. vulnificus infections was significantly higher in rural and coastal villages (69.9%) than in urban areas (30.1%) (P < 0.01). In conclusion, because of the rapid aggravation and high CFR of V. vulnificus infections, public health education should strongly recommend avoiding raw seafood products and limited exposure to marine water during the summer.

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