Purpose: Hepatitis E outbreaks are a serious public health concern in the world. The pilots or air traffic controllers can be incapacitated by severe hepatitis symptoms. If the symptoms of acute hepatitis do not improve, it is not suitable for aviation duties. In this study, we compare of incidence status of hepatitis E virus (HEV) infections, and epidemic aspects between South Korea (from here on, ‘Korea’) and Japan.
Methods: The raw data on confirmed of HEV infection cases were obtained from the National Notified Disease Surveillance System of Korea Diseases Control and Prevention Agency, the Ministry of Health and Welfare in Korea, and the National Epidemiological surveillance of Infectious Diseases surveillance system, administered by the National Institute of Infectious Diseases in Japan. Statistically significant differences between the epidemiological aspects and risk factors were determined using the Pearson’s chi-squared test or paired t-test. All data analyses were performed in Microsoft Excel 2010 (Microsoft, Redmond, WA, USA).
Results: There were 191 cases of HEV infected cases with a prevalence rate (PR) of 0.37 per 100,000 populations of Korea in 2020. During the same year in Japan, there were 454 cases with a PR of 0.36. When compared, there is statistically none significantly differences. Moreover, both PR per 100,000 populations of HEV infections in habitat of two countries were compared, in the provinces (0.39) of Korea were much higher than that in capital city of Seoul (0.27; P<0.01), but that in Japan were capital city of Tokyo (0.84) was higher than that of the provinces (0.30; P<0.01). Male to female morbidity ratio was 1.65 and 3.78 in Korea and Japan, respectively. The distribution by the age adjusted groups were similar in Korea and Japan that the total cases occurred in the over 40-years-old age bracket, clearly showing a higher incidence in the elderly.
Conclusion: We believed that the HEV are a zoonotic virus, and human occurs mainly through the fecal contamination of water and consumption of contaminated meat from infected animals. In addition, HEV infection can be a problem for pilots and air traffic controllers as well, requiring further investigation and research.
Epidemiological Aspects of Hepatitis E Virus Infections between South Korea and Japan
1Faculty of Health and Nutrition, Otemae University, Osaka, Japan, 2College of Veterinary Medicine, Konkuk University, 3Aeromedical Center of Korean Air, Seoul, KoreaCorrespondence to:
Received: February 15, 2022; Revised: March 3, 2022; Accepted: March 4, 2022
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License, which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Korean J Aerosp Environ Med 2022; 32(1): 27-31
Published April 30, 2022 https://doi.org/10.46246/KJAsEM.220003
Copyright © Aerospace Medical Association of Korea.
Hepatitis E virus, Physical examination, Epidemiology, Korea, Japan
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