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Infect Chemother. 2018 Mar;50(1):38-42. doi: 10.3947/ic.2018.50.1.38.

Investigation of Scarlet Fever Outbreak in a Kindergarten.

Ryu S1,2, Chun BC2,3.

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Division of Infectious Disease Control, Gyeonggi Provincial Government, Suwon, Korea.
Department of Epidemiology and Medical Informatics, Graduate School of Public Health, Korea University, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Preventive Medicine, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.



Scarlet fever is caused by a group A streptococcal (GAS) infection. On April 3, 2017, an outbreak among children in a kindergarten was reported to the local health department. An epidemiologic investigation was conducted to identify the possible transmission route of this outbreak and to recommend appropriate control measures.


A retrospective cohort study was conducted using questionnaires including age, sex, the classroom attended at a kindergarten, and date and type of symptoms developed. A case-patient is defined as a child having sore throat, fever, skin rash, or strawberry tongue with or without laboratory confirmation of GAS infection between March 28 and April 28, 2017.


The index case-patients developed symptoms on March 28, 2017, and this outbreak persisted over a period of 16 days. The outbreak affected 21 out of 158 children (13.3%) in the kindergarten, with the mean age of 4.2 (range 3-5) years; 12 (57.1%) of them were boys. The common symptoms reported were fever (71.4%), sore throat (71.4%), reddened tonsil (57.1%), and skin rash (52.4%). The epidemiologic analysis showed that children attending one of the classrooms in the kindergarten were 14.12 times affected than the other classrooms (relative risk, 14.12; 95% confidence interval, 4.99-33.93; P <0.01). All case-patients were recommended to stay away from the kindergarten and its social activities for >24 hours after starting appropriate antibiotic treatment, and all the children in the kindergarten were instructed to keep strict personal hygiene practices.


Our results suggest that the outbreak likely affected from the index case-patients who attended to one of the classrooms in the kindergarten. This highlights the importance of immediate notification of outbreak to prevent large number of patients.


Children; Kindergarten; Korea; Outbreak; Scarlet fever

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