Summary

Background

In 2015, a large outbreak of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection occurred following a single patient exposure in an emergency room at the Samsung Medical Center, a tertiary-care hospital in Seoul, South Korea. We aimed to investigate the epidemiology of MERS-CoV outbreak in our hospital.

Methods

We identified all patients and health-care workers who had been in the emergency room with the index case between May 27 and May 29, 2015. Patients were categorised on the basis of their exposure in the emergency room: in the same zone as the index case (group A), in different zones except for overlap at the registration area or the radiology suite (group B), and in different zones (group C). We documented cases of MERS-CoV infection, confirmed by real-time PCR testing of sputum samples. We analysed attack rates, incubation periods of the virus, and risk factors for transmission.