Korean J Epidemiol.  2000 Dec;22(2):101-107.

An Epidemiologic Investigation of Shigella Sonnei Outbreak at a Primary School in Taegu city

  • 1Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Kyungpook National University School of Medicine.
  • 2Communicable Disease Control Division, National Institute of Health.
  • 3Division of Food Microbiology, Korea Food and Drug Administration.
  • 4Laboratory of Epidemiology, National Institute of Health.
  • 5Public Health Department, Taegu Metropolitan City Hall.


PURPOSES: This study was conducted to determine the source of infection and mode of transmission of the shigellosis outbreak on March 27, 1998 at a primary school in Taegu city.
On-site interview using a standard questionnaire and rectal swab were conducted to 1,629 peoples who ate lunch on March 26 and 1,389 peoples who contacted with suspected cases. And bacteriological examination for 91 environmental materials and 25 food items were performed.
Of the 1,629 persons who ate lunch on March 26, seventy three had culture-confirmed S. sonnei infection(first attack rate: 4.5%). And additional fifty four had shigellosis among those 1,389 persons who might be exposed to the suspected cases(second attack rate: 3.9%). A total of 730 persons who complained one of four typical symptoms or more were treated as suspected cases(first attack rate of suspected cases: 44.8%). S. sonnei was never isolated from water, foods, and other environmental materials. The median incubation period was estimated about two days. The common symptom reported were diarrhea(88.7%), fever(73.4%), abdominal pain(54.7%), and vomiting episode(38.4%) in order. The shorter duration of the outbreak and the large proportion of cases involving students who ate lunch on March 26 are consistent with fecal-oral transmission, although the limited epidemiologic data obtainable do not clearly define the route of transmission.
Thus the outbreak reported here appear to be related to the unsanitary conditions of food facility in this school.


Bacillary dysentery; Disease outbreaks; Incidence

MeSH Terms

Disease Outbreaks
Dysentery, Bacillary
Shigella sonnei*
Surveys and Questionnaires
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