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Epidemiol Health. 2018;40(1):e2018056. English. Original Article. https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2018056
Jung SW .
Environmental Health Division, Seoul Metropolitan Government, Seoul, Korea. swjblue@hanmail.net
Abstract

OBJECTIVES

Water-borne diseases caused by Vibrio parahemolyticus are often known to cause gastritis when raw or undercooked seafood is eaten. It is very rare that Vibrio gastritis caused by ingesting non-seafood products occurs on a large scale. On September 19, 2017, a large-scale Vibrio gastritis occurred after the city residents consumed food at a bazaar held in a welfare center in Jungnang-gu, Seoul.

METHODS

The total number of visitors was approximately 299, and 237 (79.3%) of them showed symptoms. Among those who showed symptoms, 116 (48.9%) consulted the hospital, and 53 (45.6%) were hospitalized. Among the 299 exposed individuals, 174 (58.1%) responded to this survey: 163 (93.6%) with and 11 (6.4%) without symptoms. This study was retrospectively conducted by investigating the exposed individuals. To investigate the spread of infection, medical staff of hospitals in the epidemic area were interviewed, exposed individuals surveyed, microbiological testing conducted, and ingredient handling and cooking processes investigated.

RESULTS

A total of 237 individuals, including 6 food handlers, were affected (prevalence, 79.2%). During the microbiological testing, V. parahemolyticus was found in 34 patients and 4 food handlers. In the consumption analysis, the relative risk of kimbap was 6.79 (confidence interval 1.10 to 41.69). In-depth investigation found that squid, an ingredient of Korean pancake, and egg sheets, an ingredient of kimbap, were prepared using the same cutting board and knife, which were thought to be the cause of cross-contamination that led to a large-scale outbreak of Vibrio gastritis.

CONCLUSIONS

A recent large-scale outbreak of Vibrio gastritis occurred due to the cross-contamination with kimbap during the preparation process of squid rather than the actual consumption of seafood. Thus, a more stringent hygiene management is necessary during the processing and management of food to prevent infections associated with V. parahemolyticus.

Copyright © 2019. Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors.