Epidemiologic Investigation to Identify the Cause of an Infant Methemoglobinemia

서울 S지역에서 발생한 영아 메트헤모글로빈혈증 1례의 원인구명을 위한 역학조사

  • Kim, Young-Yeul (Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Hanyang University) ;
  • Choi, Bo-Youl (Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Hanyang University) ;
  • Park, Hang-Bae (Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Hanyang University) ;
  • Kim, Min-Young (Seoul Metropolitan Government Institute of Health and Environment) ;
  • Yeo, In-Hak (Seoul Metropolitan Government Institute of Health and Environment)
  • 김영열 (한양대학교 의과대학 예방의학교실) ;
  • 최보율 (한양대학교 의과대학 예방의학교실) ;
  • 박항배 (한양대학교 의과대학 예방의학교실) ;
  • 김민영 (서울시 보건환경연구원) ;
  • 여인학 (서울시 보건환경연구원)
  • Published : 1993.06.01

Abstract

Epidemiologic investigation was conducted on January, 1993 in Seoul to identify the cause of an infant methemoglobinemia. Field investigation of the area of outbreak, survey of household and family members, analysis of ground water, and blood tests of involved family members were performed. Following results were obtained On analyzing the quality of the ground water on patient's household high levels of nitrate was found indicating contamination of water as the cause of a methemoglobinemia outbreak. On analysing the quality of the ground waters on seven other places within the neighborhood five were contaminated by nitrate in concentration that exceeded the permissible limit implying presence nearby source of contamination. Sources of contamination were thought to be originating from human waste in conventional bathroom facilities, chicken manure used in nearby orchards and plant fields or fertilizers. But the results of water analysis with presence of bacteria or E.coli, concentration of potassium, phosphate and the past history of diarrhea among family members, chicken manure suggested the most possible source of contamination. To evaluate the health status of members in the neighborhood past history was reviewed revealing no prior existence of patient with cyanosis and 65 people in the neighborhood had normal levels of methemoglobin concentration in their blood. Conclusively, the ground water on patient's household was contaminated with nitrate and despite provision of adequate water supply, family members of the patient along with their distrust in the water supply system had used ground water as their source of drinking water resulting of methemoglobinemia. Many suburban area of Seoul and country side thought to be having similar problems concerning contaminated ground water supply and dormant outbreak of patients as a result of the drinking of the contaminated water. Epidemiologic investigation and water analysis of ground waters are advised.