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Jpn J Infect Dis. 2014;67(6):458-63.

Epidemiology of scrub typhus and the eschars patterns in South Korea from 2008 to 2012.

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Division of Epidemic Intelligence Service, Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


In South Korea, scrub typhus is the most common acute febrile illness in autumn. We analyzed scrub typhus cases reported from 2008 to 2012 to describe the epidemiology of scrub typhus as well as eschar patterns. A total of 30,478 cases were reported from 2008 to 2012; the incidence rates were higher in the southern and western regions of South Korea. The common clinical symptoms of confirmed scrub typhus cases from 2010 to 2012 were fever/chills (95.2%), eschars (78.9%), and myalgia (61.7%). The primary sites of eschars were the lower extremities (19.0%), abdomen/waist (13.4%), and axilla (11.5%) in men and the shoulder/frontal chest (15.1%), lower extremities (14.5%), and abdomen/waist (13.6%) in women. Regardless of gender, eschars tended to be more on the lower extremities among the leisure activities group. Among the occupational farm work group, who usually lived in rural areas, eschars appeared most frequently on the abdomen/waist in men and on the shoulder/frontal chest in women. Eschar patterns were influenced by gender and activities. These results could facilitate the prevention of scrub typhus and clarify the current status of scrub typhus in South Korea.

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