J Prev Med Public Health.  2015 Jan;48(1):10-17. 10.3961/jpmph.14.037.

Respiratory Syncytial Virus Outbreak in the Basic Military Training Camp of the Republic of Korea Air Force

  • 1Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Chonnam National University Hwasun Hospital, Hwasun, Korea. jdmoon@chol.com
  • 2Aerospace Medical Research Center, Republic of Korea Air Force, Cheongwon, Korea.
  • 3Department of Preventive Medicine, Dongguk University College of Medicine, Gyeongju, Korea.
  • 4Department of Laboratory Medicine, Dongguk University Ilsan Hospital, Goyang, Korea.


An outbreak of acute febrile illness occurred in the Republic of Korea Air Force boot camp from May to July 2011. An epidemiological investigation of the causative agent, which was of a highly infective nature, was conducted.
Throat swabs were carried out and a multiplex reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay was performed to identify possible causative factors.
The mean age of patients who had febrile illness during the study period was 20.24 years. The multiplex RT-PCR assay identified respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) as the causative agent. The main symptoms were sore throat (76.0%), sputum (72.8%), cough (72.1%), tonsillar hypertrophy (67.9%), and rhinorrhea (55.9%). The mean temperature was 38.75degreesC and the attack rate among the recruits was 15.7% (588 out of 3750 recruits), while the mean duration of fever was 2.3 days. The prognosis was generally favorable with supportive care but recurrent fever occurred in 10.1% of the patients within a month.
This is the first epidemiological study of an RSV outbreak that developed in a healthy young adult group. In the event of an outbreak of an acute febrile illness of a highly infective nature in facilities used by a young adult group, RSV should be considered among the possible causative agents.


Disease outbreaks; Fever; Military facilities; Military personnel; Respiratory syncytial virus infections
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