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Structural Factors of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus Outbreak as a Public Health Crisis in Korea and Future Response Strategies



Structural Factors of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus Outbreak as a Public Health Crisis in Korea and Future Response Strategies



Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health 48(6): 265-270



The recent Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) outbreak has originated from a failure in the national quarantine system in the Republic of Korea as most basic role of protecting the safety and lives of its citizens. Furthermore, a number of the Korean healthcare system's weaknesses seem to have been completely exposed. The MERS-CoV outbreak can be considered a typical public health crisis in that the public was not only greatly terrorized by the actual fear of the disease, but also experienced a great impact to their daily lives, all in a short period of time. Preparedness for and an appropriate response to a public health crisis require comprehensive systematic public healthcare measures to address risks comprehensively with an all-hazards approach. Consequently, discussion regarding establishment of post-MERS-CoV improvement measures must focus on the total reform of the national quarantine system and strengthening of the public health infrastructure. In addition, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention must implement specific strategies of action including taking on the role of "control tower" in a public health emergency, training of Field Epidemic Intelligence Service officers, establishment of collaborative governance between central and local governments for infection prevention and control, strengthening the roles and capabilities of community-based public hospitals, and development of nationwide crisis communication methods.

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Accession: 058913005

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PMID: 26639738


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