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Trends of legionellosis reported in Jeju Province, Republic of Korea, 2015-2022.

BACKGROUND: The number of reported cases of Legionnaires' disease (LD) in the Republic of Korea surged nationally in 2016; however, in 2022, this number was higher in Jeju Province than the previous national peak. A descriptive epidemiological study was conducted to analyze trends in the incidence of reported LD cases in Jeju Island from 2015 to 2022.

METHODS: The data for this study were obtained from case reports submitted to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency through its Disease and Health Integrated Management System. The selection criteria were cases or suspected cases of LD reported among Jeju residents between 2015 and 2022. The 95% confidence interval of the crude incidence rate was calculated using the Poisson distribution.

RESULTS: Since 2020, the incidence rate of LD in Jeju has risen sharply, showing a statistically significant difference from the national incidence rate. A particular medical institution in Jeju reported a significant number of LD cases. Screening with the urine antigen test (UAT) also increased significantly.

CONCLUSION: Our findings indicate that the rapid increase in cases of LD in Jeju Province since 2020 was due to the characteristics of medical-care use among Jeju residents, which were focused on a specific medical institution. According to their clinical practice guidelines, this medical institution conducted UATs to screen patients suspected of pneumonia.

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