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Epidemiology and Important Lessons from the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Outbreak in South Korea

38 Pages Posted: 1 Apr 2020

See all articles by Gwang Hun Jeong

Gwang Hun Jeong

Gyeongsang National University - College of Medicine

Hyo Jeong Lee

Yonsei University - College of Medicine

Keum Hwa Lee

Yonsei University - Department of Pediatrics

Young Joo Han

Sungkyunkwan University - Department of Pediatrics

Sojung Yoon

Yonsei University - College of Medicine

Jinhee Lee

Yonsei University - Department of Psychiatry

Seohyun Ryu

Yonsei University - College of Medicine

Da Kyung Kim

Yonsei University - Wonju College of Medicine

Myung-Bae Park

Pai Chai University - Department of Gerontal Health and Welfare

Jun Young Lee

Yonsei University - Department of Internal Medicine

Jae Won Yang

Yonsei University - Department of Nephrology

Maria Effenberger

Medical University of Innsbruck - Department of Internal Medicine I

Michael Eisenhut

Government of the United Kingdom - Luton and Dunstable University Hospital

Sung Hwi Hong

Yonsei University - College of Medicine

Andreas Kronbichler

Medical University of Innsbruck - Department of Internal Medicine IV

Jae Il Shin

Yonsei University - Department of Pediatrics

Korea COVID-19 Outbreak Research Group

More...

Abstract

Background: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by the novel virus named SARS-CoV-2 have been reported worldwide. The outbreak of COVID-19 in South Korea, located next to China, started on January 20th, 2020, and the number of infected cases has increased rapidly. In this study, we aimed to report the epidemiological characteristics and transmission of the disease and discuss the South Korean government and society’s responses to COVID-19 outbreak.

Methods: We collected demographic and epidemiologic data from the daily update of COVID-19 published by Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) until March 16th, 2020. Additional informations were extracted from the confirmed press.

Findings: The first case of COVID-19 in South Korea was reported on January 20th, 2020. Since then, the disease have progressed to community-associated infection followed by multiple mass infections associated with religious groups and hospitals, mainly from the city of Daegu. As of March 16th, 2020, 8,236 patients were confirmed to have COVID-19 and 75 deaths from the disease were reported. The Korean government has issued several guidelines for screening, diagnosis, management, prevention and quarantine of COVID-19, and society responded to the guidelines at a high level. In addition, the amendments of the legislation related to quarantine were also proposed.

Interpretation: Although the number of confirmed patients of COVID-19 in South Korea is still increasing, the upward slope tends to decrease. The efforts of the government, society, and medical staffs contributed greatly to prevent the spread of the disease. The messages given by the situation in South Korea would give clues to other countries to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Funding Statement: None.

Declaration of Interests: All authors confirm to have no actual or potential conflict of interests.

Ethics Approval Statement: Data is publicly available.

Keywords: COVID-19; Epidemiology; government policy

Suggested Citation

Jeong, Gwang Hun and Lee, Hyo Jeong and Lee, Keum Hwa and Han, Young Joo and Yoon, Sojung and Lee, Jinhee and Ryu, Seohyun and Kim, Da Kyung and Park, Myung-Bae and Lee, Jun Young and Yang, Jae Won and Effenberger, Maria and Eisenhut, Michael and Hong, Sung Hwi and Kronbichler, Andreas and Shin, Jae Il and COVID-19 Outbreak Research Group, Korea, Epidemiology and Important Lessons from the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Outbreak in South Korea (3/20/2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3559575 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3559575

Gwang Hun Jeong

Gyeongsang National University - College of Medicine

Chinju City
Korea, Republic of (South Korea)

Hyo Jeong Lee

Yonsei University - College of Medicine

Korea, Republic of (South Korea)

Keum Hwa Lee

Yonsei University - Department of Pediatrics

Seoul
Korea, Republic of (South Korea)

Young Joo Han

Sungkyunkwan University - Department of Pediatrics

Changwon
Korea, Republic of (South Korea)

Sojung Yoon

Yonsei University - College of Medicine

Korea, Republic of (South Korea)

Jinhee Lee

Yonsei University - Department of Psychiatry

Wonju
Korea, Republic of (South Korea)

Seohyun Ryu

Yonsei University - College of Medicine

Korea, Republic of (South Korea)

Da Kyung Kim

Yonsei University - Wonju College of Medicine

Wonju
Korea, Republic of (South Korea)

Myung-Bae Park

Pai Chai University - Department of Gerontal Health and Welfare ( email )

Korea, Republic of (South Korea)

Jun Young Lee

Yonsei University - Department of Internal Medicine ( email )

Korea, Republic of (South Korea)

Jae Won Yang

Yonsei University - Department of Nephrology

Korea, Republic of (South Korea)

Maria Effenberger

Medical University of Innsbruck - Department of Internal Medicine I

Australia

Michael Eisenhut

Government of the United Kingdom - Luton and Dunstable University Hospital

Luton
United Kingdom

Sung Hwi Hong

Yonsei University - College of Medicine

Korea, Republic of (South Korea)

Andreas Kronbichler

Medical University of Innsbruck - Department of Internal Medicine IV

Austria

Jae Il Shin (Contact Author)

Yonsei University - Department of Pediatrics ( email )

Seoul
Korea, Republic of (South Korea)

No contact information is available for Korea COVID-19 Outbreak Research Group

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