Osong Public Health Res Perspect.  2022 Aug;13(4):263-272. 10.24171/j.phrp.2022.0149.

Characteristics of COVID-19 outbreaks and risk factors for transmission at an army training center in South Korea from June to August 2021

Affiliations
  • 1Epidemiological Investigation Team, Central Disease Control Headquarters, Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency, Cheongju, Korea
  • 2Division of Infectious Disease Response, Chungcheong Regional Center, Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency, Daejeon, Korea
  • 3Indoor Air Quality Research Center, Korea Institute of Civil Engineering and Building Technology, Goyang, Korea
  • 4Gyeryongdae District Hospital, Republic of Korea Army Headquarters, Korea Army, Gyeryong, Korea

Abstract


Objectives
It is crucial to establish the characteristics of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreaks at army training centers to develop preventive measures. Therefore, this study aimed to determine the COVID-19 transmission patterns and risk factors in a sequence of outbreaks at an army training center from June to August 2021.
Methods
This study included 1,324 trainees at an army training center where outbreaks occurred from June to August 2021. The outbreak was qualitatively analyzed according to the period, attack rate, demographic characteristics, vaccination history, and living areas. An aerodynamic experiment was performed to evaluate aerosol transmission in living areas.
Results
Three outbreaks occurred at the army training center from June to August 2021. The first, second, and third outbreaks lasted for 32, 17, and 24 days, and the attack rates were 12.8%, 18.1%, and 8.9%, respectively. Confirmed cases were distributed in all age groups. Recruits and the unvaccinated were at higher risk for COVID-19. The aerodynamic experiment verified the possibility of aerosol transmission within the same living area.
Conclusion
COVID-19 transmission at army training centers should be minimized through quarantine and post-admission testing during the latency period as part of integrated measures that include facility ventilation, vaccination, indoor mask-wearing, and social distancing.

Keyword

Communicable diseases; COVID-19; Military facilities; Risk; Vaccination
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