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Incidence and Seroprevalence of Hepatitis A Virus Infections among Young Korean Soldiers

Journal of Korean Medical Science
Korean Academy of Medical Sciences (KAMJE)
Publication Date
DOI: 10.3346/jkms.2007.22.3.546
  • Brief Communication
  • Biology
  • Medicine


This study was performed to determine the incidence and seroprevalence of hepatitis A virus (HAV) infections in young soldiers in the Republic of Korea Army. From January 2000 through December 2004, a total of 147 hepatitis A cases were reported to the Armed Forces Medical Command. The annual incidence rates were 7.4 per 100,000 persons in 2000, 1.6 in 2001, 4.4 in 2002, 9.8 in 2003, and 6.2 in 2004, based on the reported cases among approximately 500,000 soldiers. All patients were males with a median age of 21 yr (range, 19-27). The most common symptom was nausea (86.5%), and all patients had recovered without complications. In addition, in order to evaluate the seroprevalence of HAV infection in young adults, serum samples were obtained from randomly selected young subjects among those who had been admitted to the Armed Forces Capital Hospital from September 2005 to February 2006. A total of 200 subjects were enrolled in the study to analyze the anti-HAV immune status. The overall anti-HAV IgG seropositive rate was 2% (4/200, 95% CI, 0.60-5.21%). Given the changing epidemiology of the disease and the associated increase in morbidity, it was suggested that the routine HAV vaccination for Korean military personnel might be necessary.

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