Severe Fever with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome in the Republic of Korea
Since the first SFTS case was retrospectively confirmed in Korea in 2013, SFTS cases have been increasingly detected in the Republic of Korea: From 2013 to 2017 (as of October 31), 595 patients (36 in 2013, 55 in 2014, 79 in 2015, 165 in 2016 and 260 in 2017) including 126 fatal cases were laboratory-confirmed. The overall case fatality rate was 21%. The median age of the patients was 68 years and 89% of them were > 50 years. Most cases occurred from May to October during the year. SFTS occurred throughout the country, except in urban areas. Hilly areas in the eastern and southeastern provinces such as Gangwon, Jeju provinces followed by Gyungbuk province showed the highest incidence of SFTS. Seropositivity in areas where STFS patients were reported ranged from 4.2 to 28.4%, while seropositivity in areas where no SFTS patient was reported was 2.6%. Two nosocomial transmission events were reported. Compliance with the standard precautions and use of personal protective equipment would be required for healthcare workers.
KeywordsSevere fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) SFTS virus Epidemiology Korea
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