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1.
Lancet Reg Health West Pac ; 18: 100330, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1559154

ABSTRACT

Background: Optimizing media campaigns for those who were unsure or unwilling to take coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines is required urgently to effectively present public health messages aimed at increasing vaccination coverage. We propose a novel framework for selecting tailor-made media channels and their combinations for this task. Methods: An online survey was conducted in Japan during February to March, 2021, with 30,053 participants. In addition to their sociodemographic characteristics, it asked the attitude toward vaccination and information sources (i.e., media channels) for COVID-19 issues. Multinomial logic regression was fitted to estimate the combinations of the media channels and their odds ratio (OR) associated with vaccination attitudes. Findings: The proportion of respondents who were unsure or unwilling to take the vaccination was skewed toward younger generation: 58.1% were aged under 35, while 28.1% were 65 years or older. Media channels such as "Non-medical and Non-TV" and "Non-medical and Non-government" were associated with the unsure group: OR (95% Confidence intervals, (CI)) = 1.75 (1.62, 1.89) and 1.53 (1.44, 1.62), respectively. In addition, media channels such as "Newspapers or the Novel Coronavirus Expert Meeting", "Medical or Local government", and "Non-TV" were associated with the unwilling group: OR (95% CI) were 2.00 (1.47, 2.75), 3.13 (2.58, 3.81), and 2.25 (1.84, 2.77), respectively. Interpretation: To effectively approach COVID-19 vaccine unsure and unwilling groups, generation-specific online and offline media campaigns should be optimized to the type of vaccine attitude. Funding: Funded by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan (H29-Gantaisaku-ippan-009) and the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED) (JP20fk0108535).

4.
Mod Rheumatol Case Rep ; 2021 Oct 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1443057

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is known to cause hyperferritinemia and hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH). Including this laboratory parameter, clinical symptoms similar to COVID-19 have been observed in adult-onset Still's disease (AOSD), catastrophic antiphospholipid syndrome (CAPS), macrophage activation syndrome (MAS), and septic shock, which has led to the proposal of a concept called 'hyperferritinemic syndromes.' Additionally, high levels of some clinical markers in both COVID-19 and AOSD make them difficult to differentiate. While the efficacy of ciclesonide had been expected for mild pneumonia with COVID-19, the efficacy of tocilizumab, which is a known treatment for AOSD, was not established. Here, we report the first known occurrence of COVID-19, diagnosed in March 2020, preceded by the diagnosis of AOSD, in April 2019, in a 65-year-old, otherwise healthy man. Following the diagnosis of the latter, the patient was first given prednisolone and then tocilizumab, which led to remission. With the recurrence of joint pain and rash in March 2020, accompanied by low oxygen saturation levels (90%), and ground-glass appearance on chest CT, PCR test revealed COVID-19 infection. Ciclesonide was started on day 7 of the disease onset, which led to improved inflammatory markers by day 21. Thus, we infer that while tocilizumab is theoretically useful for COVID-19 due to its inhibition of interleukin 6 (IL-6), additional ciclesonide therapy might be required to prevent worsening of the condition. AOSD and COVID-19 must, therefore, be differentiated by levels of ferritin which differ between the two, and appropriate treatment must be allocated.

5.
Japanese Journal of Infection Prevention and Control ; 36(2):89-91, 2021.
Article in Japanese | J-STAGE | ID: covidwho-1441246
6.
Microbiol Spectr ; 9(2): e0108221, 2021 10 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1434911

ABSTRACT

We describe the results of testing health care workers, from a tertiary care hospital in Japan that had experienced a coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak during the first peak of the pandemic, for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-specific antibody seroconversion. Using two chemiluminescent immunoassays and a confirmatory surrogate virus neutralization test, serological testing revealed that a surprising 42% of overlooked COVID-19 diagnoses (27/64 cases) occurred when case detection relied solely on SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid amplification testing (NAAT). Our results suggest that the NAAT-positive population is only the tip of the iceberg and the portion left undetected might potentially have led to silent transmissions and triggered the spread. A questionnaire-based risk assessment was further indicative of exposures to specific aerosol-generating procedures (i.e., noninvasive ventilation and airway suctioning) having mediated transmission and served as the origins of the outbreak. Our observations are supportive of a multitiered testing approach, including the use of serological diagnostics, in order to accomplish exhaustive case detection along the whole COVID-19 spectrum. IMPORTANCE We describe the results of testing frontline health care workers, from a hospital in Japan that had experienced a COVID-19 outbreak, for SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies. Antibody testing revealed that a surprising 42% of overlooked COVID-19 diagnoses occurred when case detection relied solely on PCR-based viral detection. COVID-19 clusters have been continuously striking the health care system around the globe. Our findings illustrate that such clusters are lined with hidden infections eluding detection with diagnostic PCR and that the cluster burden in total is more immense than actually recognized. The mainstays of diagnosing infectious diseases, including COVID-19, generally consist of two approaches, one aiming to detect molecular fragments of the invading pathogen and the other to measure immune responses of the host. Considering antibody testing as one trustworthy option to test our way through the pandemic can aid in the exhaustive case detection of COVID-19 patients with variable presentations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19 Serological Testing/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross Infection/epidemiology , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Adult , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Cost of Illness , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Japan/epidemiology , Male , Neutralization Tests , Occupational Exposure , Risk Assessment , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Seroconversion , Surveys and Questionnaires , Tertiary Care Centers
7.
Infect Dis Ther ; 10(4): 2489-2509, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1375855

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the cause of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is an enveloped, single-stranded RNA virus. Favipiravir is an orally administrable antiviral drug whose mechanism of action is to selectively inhibit RNA-dependent RNA polymerase. A preliminary trial in COVID-19 patients reported significant improvements across a multitude of clinical parameters, but these findings have not been confirmed in an adequate well-controlled trial. We conducted a randomized, single-blind, placebo-controlled Phase III trial assessing the efficacy and safety of favipiravir in patients with moderate pneumonia not requiring oxygen therapy. METHODS: COVID-19 patients with moderate pneumonia (SpO2 ≥ 94%) within 10 days of onset of fever (temperature ≥ 37.5 °C) were assigned to receive either placebo or favipiravir (1800 mg twice a day on Day 1, followed by 800 mg twice a day for up to 13 days) in a ratio of 1:2. An adaptive design was used to re-estimate the sample size. The primary endpoint was a composite outcome defined as the time to improvement in temperature, oxygen saturation levels (SpO2), and findings on chest imaging, and recovery to SARS-CoV-2-negative. This endpoint was re-examined by the Central Committee under blinded conditions. RESULTS: A total of 156 patients were randomized. The median time of the primary endpoint was 11.9 days in the favipiravir group and 14.7 days in the placebo group, with a significant difference (p = 0.0136). Favipiravir-treated patients with known risk factors such as obesity or coexisting conditions provided better effects. Furthermore, patients with early-onset in the favipiravir group showed higher odds ratio. No deaths were documented. Although adverse events in the favipiravir group were predominantly transient, the incidence was significantly higher. CONCLUSIONS: The results suggested favipiravir may be one of options for moderate COVID-19 pneumonia treatment. However, the risk of adverse events, including hyperuricemia, should be carefully considered. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Clinicaltrials.jp number: JapicCTI-205238.

8.
Lancet Reg Health West Pac ; 14: 100223, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1331033

ABSTRACT

Background: Identifying and understanding reasons for being unsure or unwilling regarding intention to be vaccinated against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) may help to inform future public health messages aimed at increasing vaccination coverage. We analyzed a broad array of individual's psychological dispositions with regard to decision-making about COVID-19 vaccination in Japan. Methods: A nationally representative cross-sectional web survey was conducted with 30053 Japanese adults aged 20 years or older at the end of February 2021. In addition to the question on the individual's intention to be vaccinated against COVID-19, respondents were asked about their sociodemographic, health-related, and psychological characteristics as well as information sources about COVID-19 and their levels of trust. Also, those who responded 'not sure' or 'no' regarding intention to take COVID-19 vaccine were asked why. Multinomial logistic regression with sparse group Lasso (Least Absolute Shrinkage and Selection Operator) penalty was used to compute adjusted odds ratios for factors associated with the intention (not sure/no versus yes). Findings: The percentages of respondents who answered 'not sure' or 'no' regarding intention to be vaccinated against COVID-19 vaccine were 32.9% and 11.0%, respectively. After adjusting for covariates, the perceived risks of COVID-19, perceived risk of a COVID-19 vaccine, perceived benefits of a COVID-19 vaccine, trust in scientists and public authorities, and the belief that healthcare workers should be vaccinated were significantly associated with vaccination intention. Several sources of information about COVID-19 were also significantly associated with vaccination intention, including physicians, nurses, and television, medical information sites with lower odds of being unsure or unwilling, and internet news sites, YouTube, family members, and scientists and researchers with higher odds. The higher the level of trust in television as a source of COVID-19 information, the higher the odds of responding 'not sure' (odds ratio 1.11, 95% confidence interval 1.01-1.21). We also demonstrated that many respondents presented concerns about the side effects and safety of a COVID-19 vaccine as a major reason for being unsure or unwilling. To decide whether or not to get the vaccine, many respondents requested more information about the compatibilities between the vaccine and their personal health conditions, whether other people had been vaccinated, the effectiveness of vaccines against variants, and doctors' recommendations. Interpretation: Our findings suggest that public health messaging based on the sociodemographic and psychological characteristics of those who are unsure or unwilling regarding intention to be vaccinated against COVID-19 vaccine may help to increase vaccine uptake amongst this population. Funding: The present work was supported in part by a grant from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan (H29-Gantaisaku-ippan-009).

9.
Lancet Reg Health West Pac ; 3: 100016, 2020 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1281486

ABSTRACT

Background: On April 7, 2020, the Japanese government declared a state of emergency regarding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Given the nation-wide spread of the coronavirus in major Japanese cities and the rapid increase in the number of cases with untraceable infection routes, large-scale monitoring for capturing the current epidemiological situation of COVID-19 in Japan is urgently required. Methods: A chatbot-based healthcare system named COOPERA (COvid-19: Operation for Personalized Empowerment to Render smart prevention And AN care seeking) was developed to surveil the Japanese epidemiological situation in real-time. COOPERA asked questions regarding personal information, location, preventive actions, COVID-19 related symptoms and their residence. Empirical Bayes estimates of the age-sex-standardized incidence rate and disease mapping approach using scan statistics were utilized to identify the geographical distribution of the symptoms in Tokyo and their spatial correlation r with the identified COVID-19 cases. Findings: We analyzed 353,010 participants from Tokyo recruited from 27th March to 6th April 2020. The mean (SD) age of participants was 42.7 (12.3), and 63.4%, 36.4% or 0.2% were female, male, or others, respectively. 95.6% of participants had no subjective symptoms. We identified several geographical clusters with high spatial correlation (r = 0.9), especially in downtown areas in central Tokyo such as Shibuya and Shinjuku. Interpretation: With the global spread of COVID-19, medical resources are being depleted. A new system to monitor the epidemiological situation, COOPERA, can provide insights to assist political decision to tackle the epidemic. In addition, given that Japan has not had a strong lockdown policy to weaken the spread of the infection, our result would be useful for preparing for the second wave in other countries during the next flu season without a strong lockdown. Funding: The present work was supported in part by a grant from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan (H29-Gantaisaku-ippan-009).

10.
J Intensive Care ; 9(1): 34, 2021 Apr 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1183584

ABSTRACT

REMAP-CAP, a randomized, embedded, multifactorial adaptive platform trial for community-acquired pneumonia, is an international clinical trial that is rapidly expanding its scope and scale in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Japan is now joining REMAP-CAP with endorsement from Japanese academic societies. Commitment to REMAP-CAP can significantly contribute to population health through timely identification of optimal COVID-19 therapeutics. Additionally, it will promote the establishment of a national and global network of clinical trials to tackle future pandemics of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, in collaboration with multiple stakeholders, including front-line healthcare workers, governmental agencies, regulatory authorities, and academic societies.

11.
J Med Virol ; 93(7): 4549-4552, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1141366

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The gold standard for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) diagnosis has been the detection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) RNA by nucleic acid amplification testing (NAAT). On the other hand, serological testing for COVID-19 may offer advantages in detecting possibly overlooked infections by NAAT. METHODS: To evaluate seroconversion of NAAT-negative pneumonia patients, immunoglobulin M (IgM) and IgG targeting the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 were semiquantified by an immunofluorescence assay. Seroconversion was confirmed by another serological method, targeting the nucleocapsid protein. RESULTS: Eight suspected but unconfirmed COVID-19 pneumonia patients (median age, 39 years; range, 21-55) were included. The median period between symptom onset and NAAT sample collection was 6 days (2-27 days). None of them had tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 by NAAT. In contrast, all eight patients revealed seropositivity with the two serological methods, indicating actual seroconversion against SARS-CoV-2. The median period between onset and blood sampling was 26.5 days (7-51 days). CONCLUSION: Eight patients with COVID-19 pneumonia, initially tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 by NAAT, were finally confirmed of the diagnosis by serological testing. To cover the whole spectrum of this heterogenous infectious disease, serology testing should be implemented to the multitiered diagnostic algorithm for COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin M/blood , Adult , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Phosphoproteins/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Seroconversion , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Young Adult
12.
BMJ Open ; 11(2): e042002, 2021 02 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1085262

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: On 7 April 2020, the Japanese government declared a state of emergency in response to the novel coronavirus outbreak. To estimate the impact of the declaration on regional cities with low numbers of COVID-19 cases, large-scale surveillance to capture the current epidemiological situation of COVID-19 was urgently conducted in this study. DESIGN: Cohort study. SETTING: Social networking service (SNS)-based online survey conducted in five prefectures of Japan: Tottori, Kagawa, Shimane, Tokushima and Okayama. PARTICIPANTS: 127 121 participants from the five prefectures surveyed between 24 March and 5 May 2020. INTERVENTIONS: An SNS-based healthcare system named COOPERA (COvid-19: Operation for Personalized Empowerment to Render smart prevention And care seeking) was launched. It asks questions regarding postcode, personal information, preventive actions, and current and past symptoms related to COVID-19. PRIMARY AND SECONDARY OUTCOME MEASURES: Empirical Bayes estimates of age-sex-standardised incidence rate (EBSIR) of symptoms and the spatial correlation between the number of those who reported having symptoms and the number of COVID-19 cases were examined to identify the geographical distribution of symptoms in the five prefectures. RESULTS: 97.8% of participants had no subjective symptoms. We identified several geographical clusters of fever with significant spatial correlation (r=0.67) with the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, especially in the urban centres of prefectural capital cities. CONCLUSIONS: Given that there are still several high-risk areas measured by EBSIR, careful discussion on which areas should be reopened at the end of the state of emergency is urgently required using real-time SNS system to monitor the nationwide epidemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Social Networking , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Bayes Theorem , Cohort Studies , Epidemiological Monitoring , Female , Humans , Japan/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Young Adult
14.
Lancet Reg Health West Pac ; 1: 100011, 2020 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-741396

ABSTRACT

Background: In the absence of widespread testing, symptomatic monitoring efforts may allow for understanding the epidemiological situation of the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Japan. We obtained data from a social networking service (SNS) messaging application that monitors self-reported COVID-19 related symptoms in real time in Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan. We aimed at not only understanding the epidemiological situation of COVID-19 in the prefecture, but also highlighting the usefulness of symptomatic monitoring approaches that rely on self-reporting using SNS during a pandemic, and informing the assessment of Japan's emergency declaration over COVID-19. Methods: We analysed symptoms data (fever over 37.5° and a strong feeling of weariness or shortness of breath), reported voluntarily via SNS chatbot by 227,898 residents of Fukuoka Prefecture during March 27 to May 3, 2020, including April 7, when a state of emergency was declared. We estimated the spatial correlation coefficient between the number of the self-reported cases of COVID-19 related symptoms and the number of PCR confirmed COVID-19 cases in the period (obtained from the prefecture website); and estimated the empirical Bayes age- and sex-standardised incidence ratio (EBSIR) of the symptoms in the period, compared before and after the declaration. The number of symptom cases was weighted by age and sex to reflect the regional population distribution according to the 2015 national census. Findings: Of the participants, 3.47% reported symptoms. There was a strong spatial correlation of 0.847 (p < 0.001) at municipality level between the weighted number of self-reported symptoms and the number of COVID-19 cases for both symptoms. The EBSIR at post-code level was not likely to change remarkably before and after the declaration of the emergency, but the gap in EBSIR between high-risk and low-risk areas appeared to have increased after the declaration. Interpretation: While caution is necessary as the data was limited to SNS users, the self-reported COVID-19 related symptoms considered in the study had high epidemiological evaluation ability. In addition, though based on visual assessment, after the declaration of the emergency, regional containment of the infection risk might have strengthened to some extent. SNS, which can provide a high level of real-time, voluntary symptom data collection, can be used to assess the epidemiology of a pandemic, as well as to assist in policy assessments such as emergency declarations. Funding: The present work was supported in part by a grant from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan (H29-Gantaisaku-ippan-009).

15.
Kansenshogaku Zasshi ; 94(4):514-519, 2020.
Article in Japanese | WHO COVID | ID: covidwho-694747

ABSTRACT

On April 5, 2020, guidelines for COVID-19 were issued that allowed asymptomatic carriers and mildly ill persons to remain at home. However, due to the unexpected increase in the number of symptomatic patients, many patients are now hospitalized. We accepted COVID-19 patients from the cruise ship, Diamond Princess. We focused on 6 cases with mild symptoms and evaluated the results of chest computed tomography (CT) and blood tests, the clinical course, the period until two consecutive negative test results of RT-PCR, and the length of hospitalization in these patients

16.
Virus Res ; 290: 198089, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-634875

ABSTRACT

We investigated whether reduced lymphocyte count, could predict the development of severe COVID-19. We also examined whether ciclesonide could prevent the development of severe COVID-19 among patients with the predictors. This was a retrospective cohort study. Of the 30 included patients, 12, 14, and 4 were allocated to severe pneumonia, non-severe pneumonia, and non-pneumonia groups, respectively. The group of the low level of lymphocyte counts of the sixth day after onset was significantly intubated approximately three days later. The incidence of the severe pneumoniae requiring intubation are significantly lower in the patients treated with ciclesonide than without it (11.18 % vs 83.33 %, p = 0.0033). The lymphocyte count after ciclesonide treatment in the non-severe pneumonia group was significantly higher (p = 0. 0156) than before. The lymphocyte count could be used to identify patients that may develop severe COVID-19. Treatment with ciclesonide may prevent the development of severe COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/drug therapy , Glucocorticoids/therapeutic use , Lymphocytes/pathology , Pregnenediones/therapeutic use , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/pathology , Female , Humans , Lymphocyte Count , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Treatment Outcome , Young Adult
17.
J Epidemiol ; 30(8): 362-370, 2020 08 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-437082

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The World Health Organization declared the novel coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19) to be a pandemic on March 11, 2020. Large-scale monitoring for capturing the current epidemiological situation of COVID-19 in Japan would improve preparation for and prevention of a massive outbreak. METHODS: A chatbot-based healthcare system named COOPERA (COvid-19: Operation for Personalized Empowerment to Render smart prevention And care seeking) was developed using the LINE app to evaluate the current Japanese epidemiological situation. LINE users could participate in the system either though a QR code page in the prefectures' websites or a banner at the top of the LINE app screen. COOPERA asked participants questions regarding personal information, preventive actions, and non-specific symptoms related to COVID-19 and their duration. We calculated daily cross correlation functions between the reported number of infected cases confirmed using polymerase chain reaction and the symptom-positive group captured by COOPERA. RESULTS: We analyzed 206,218 participants from three prefectures reported between March 5 and 30, 2020. The mean age of participants was 44.2 (standard deviation, 13.2) years. No symptoms were reported by 96.93% of participants, but there was a significantly positive correlation between the reported number of COVID-19 cases and self-reported fevers, suggesting that massive monitoring of fever might help to estimate the scale of the COVID-19 epidemic in real time. CONCLUSIONS: COOPERA is the first real-time system being used to monitor trends in COVID-19 in Japan and provides useful insights to assist political decisions to tackle the epidemic.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , Epidemiological Monitoring , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19 , Female , Humans , Japan/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Young Adult
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