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J Bacteriol Virol. 2015 Dec;45(4):339-353. Korean. Original Article.
Je S , Bae W , Kim J , Seok SH , Hwang ES .
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, and Global Center for Infectious Diseases, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.,
Institute of Endemic Disease, Seoul National University Medical Research Center, Seoul, Korea.

The Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) causes severe acute respiratory disease and systemic dysfunction that may eventually lead to the death of the patients. After MERS-CoV was first diagnosed in the South Korea, in May 2015, it affected 186 individuals and claimed 37 lives in short span of time (case fatality rate = 19.9%). Compared to MERS-CoV in the Middle East, MERS-CoV in South Korea appeared to be more transmissible, and induced multiple human-to-human transmission. These knowledge gaps caused the failure of early prevention, and disseminated MERS-CoV brought out a great loss of lives and economy. The MERS-CoV outbreak revealed the potential weakness of public health system in South Korea, and promoted the reestablishment of preventive strategies for imported infectious diseases. In these regards, we analyzed the potential for additional import of re-emerged and emerging infectious diseases, such as dengue fever, malaria, chikungunya fever and hepatitis A, from Africa or South-East Asia. Then we suggest the investment expansion and the administration of global networks for effective research and control for newly or re-emerged infectious diseases. In conclusion, it is required to expect and prepare for the surveillance of the importation of foreign pathogens, and constitute the internal collaborative systems for rapid detection and risk communication. In addition, we should take an active part in the global networks to perform rapid preparedness and control for re-emerged or emerging infectious diseases.

Copyright © 2019. Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors.