PURPOSE: Acute interstitial pneumonia (AIP) is a rare disease, but its prognosis is fatal because of lack of efficient treatment modality. Recently, it has been reported that there was epidemic AIP in Korea. This study aims to investigate the past and current status of AIP in Korea. METHODS: We performed a nationwide survey and a prospective study. From August 6 to 15, 2008, a questionnaire survey was conducted to identify the prevalence, local distribution, and response to current treatments. The questionnaire was answered by pediatrician working in 23 referral centers in Korea. In addition, 5 referral centers in Seoul performed a preliminary prospective observational study by obtaining clinical data and specimens from appropriate patients. The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyzed the samples for possible pathogens. RESULTS: The survey showed 78 AIP cases had occurred and 36 patients had died. Lung biopsy was performed only on 20 patients. In 2008, 9 AIP cases developed. In a prospective study, 9 (M:F=5:4) patients developed AIP in spring and 7 (78%) died, with the mean rate of death occurring 46 days after diagnosis. Human corona virus 229 E, cytomegalovirus, influenza A virus, influenza B virus, and parainfluenza virus were isolated from the respiratory specimens. CONCLUSION: This study showed nationwide prevalence of AIP in Korea. In addition, because of the high mortality rate and rapid progress, pediatricians need to be aware of the disease. Further studies and a nationwide network are required for reducing the morbidity and mortality rates related to AIP.