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1.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-336994

ABSTRACT

Disasters, pandemics, and their response measures can have secondary effects on the physical and psychological health of affected populations. Identifying populations vulnerable to these effects is beneficial for promoting effective health and prevention strategies. Using health insurance receipt data from 2009 to 2020, we assessed changes in prevalence of major non-communicable diseases (NCDs), including hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, and mental disorders, among affected populations before and after the Fukushima disaster and coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Japan. Furthermore, age and sex groups with the largest increases in prevalence after these events were identified. The participants of this study were members of the Employees’ Health Insurance scheme, including employees of companies and their dependent family members. The dataset was provided by JMDC Inc. The annual age-adjusted prevalence of each disease was used to calculate the ratio of disease prevalence before and after the events. After the Fukushima disaster, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and diabetes generally increased over a 9-year period in Fukushima Prefecture. The increase in the prevalence rate of these three NCDs and mental disorders were the highest among females aged 40–74 years compared to males and the other age groups. The prevalence of all four diseases increased after the COVID-19 outbreak in Japan, with marked increase in males aged 0–39 years. Populations that have experienced secondary health effects such as NCDs are unique to each disaster or pandemic, and it is important to provide tailor-made public health support among populations in accordance to the type of disasters and pandemic. Highlights We assessed secondary health effects of Fukushima disaster and COVID-19 pandemic Non-communicable diseases increased after the disaster and COVID-19 pandemic The increase rates were higher among females aged 40–74 years after the disaster The increase rates were higher among males aged 0–39 years after COVID-19 pandemic It is important to provide tailor-made public health support among populations

2.
SSM Popul Health ; 18: 101105, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1805211

ABSTRACT

Understanding COVID-19 risk perception may help inform public health messaging aimed at encouraging preventive measures and improving countermeasures against the pandemic. We conducted an online survey of 29,708 Japanese adults in February 2021 and estimated the associations between COVID-19 risk perception and a broad array of individual factors. Two logistic regressions were constructed to estimate factors associated with the risk perception of COVID-19 (defined as responding that one might become infected within the next 6 months), and of severe illness among those who responded that they might become infected (defined as responding that one would become severely ill). After adjusting for covariates, those with a higher perceived risk of the COVID-19 vaccine had higher odds of risk perception for both infection and severe illness. Interestingly, those with higher odds of risk perception of being infected were more likely to report obtaining their information from healthcare workers whereas those with lower odds were more likely to report obtaining their information from the Internet or the government; those with lower odds of risk perception of being severely ill were more likely to report obtaining their information from the Internet. The higher the trust level in the government as a COVID-19 information source, the lower the odds of both risk perception of being infected and becoming severely ill. The higher the trust levels in social networking services as a COVID-19 information source, the higher the odds of risk perception of becoming severely ill. Public health messaging should address the factors identified in our study.

3.
Microb Risk Anal ; 21: 100215, 2022 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1768421

ABSTRACT

There is a need to evaluate and minimize the risk of novel coronavirus infections at mass gathering events, such as sports. In particular, to consider how to hold mass gathering events, it is important to clarify how the local infection prevalence, the number of spectators, the capacity proportion, and the implementation of preventions affect the infection risk. In this study, we used an environmental exposure model to analyze the relationship between infection risk and infection prevalence, the number of spectators, and the capacity proportion at mass gathering events in football and baseball games. In addition to assessing risk reduction through the implementation of various preventive measures, we assessed how face-mask-wearing proportion affects infection risk. Furthermore, the model was applied to estimate the number of infectors who entered the stadium and the number of newly infected individuals, and to compare them with actual reported cases. The model analysis revealed an 86-95% reduction in the infection risk due to the implementation of face-mask wearing and hand washing. Under conditions in which vaccine effectiveness was 20% and 80%, the risk reduction rates of infection among vaccinated spectators were 36% and 96%, respectively. Among the individual measures, face-mask wearing was particularly effective, and the infection risk increased as the face-mask-wearing proportion decreased. A linear relationship was observed between infection risk at mass gathering events and the infection prevalence. Furthermore, the number of newly infected individuals was also dependent on the number of spectators and the capacity proportion independent of the infection prevalence, confirming the importance of considering spectator capacity in infection risk management. These results highlight that it is beneficial for organisers to ensure prevention compliance and to mitigate or limit the number of spectators according to the prevalence of local infection. Both the estimated and reported numbers of newly infected individuals after the events were small, below 10 per 3-4 million spectators, despite a small gap between these numbers.

4.
PLoS One ; 17(3): e0266197, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1765545

ABSTRACT

In this study, we quantitatively assessed the effectiveness of systems for COVID-19 testing in small groups of sport teams that are semi-isolated from the general population by countermeasures against infection. Two types of group were assumed, and the dynamics of infection within each group was modeled by using a compartment model of infectious disease. One group (Group A) comprised domestic professional sports teams that play many games over a season while remaining within a relatively small region. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests were routinely conducted once every 2 weeks, and the number of infected individuals that could not be quarantined after identification by testing or checking for symptoms was defined as the risk. The other group (Group B) comprised teams that travel across borders for mass-gathering events like the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The teams were isolated for 2 weeks at their destination; frequent testing and checking for symptoms was conducted, and any infected individuals were quarantined. The number of infected individuals participating in games after the isolation period was defined as the risk. In Group A, the number of infected individuals detected by routinely conducted PCR testing was lower than the number of infected individuals detected by checking for symptoms, indicating that routine testing every 2 weeks was not very effective. In Group B, daily PCR testing was the most effective, followed by daily antigen testing. Dual testing, in which individuals with a positive antigen test were given an additional PCR test, was the least effective with an effect equal to PCR testing every other day. These results indicate that repeated testing does not necessarily increase the detection of infected individuals.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Sports , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19 Testing , Humans , Quarantine , SARS-CoV-2
5.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-329807

ABSTRACT

We developed an environmental exposure model to estimate the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) risk among participants at an outdoor music festival and validated the model using a real cluster outbreak case. Furthermore, we evaluated the extent to which the risk could be reduced by additional infection control measures such as negative proofs of antigen tests on the day of the event, wearing masks, disinfection of environmental surfaces, and vaccination. The total number of already- and newly-infected individuals who participated in the event according to the new model was 47.0 (95% uncertainty interval: 12.5–185.5), which is in good agreement with the reported value (45). Among the additional control measures, vaccination, mask-wearing, and disinfection of surfaces were determined to be effective. Based on the combination of all measures, a 94% risk reduction could be achieved. In addition to setting a benchmark for an acceptable number of newly-infected individuals at the time of an event, the application of this model will enable us to determine whether it is necessary to implement additional measures, limit the number of participants, or refrain from holding an event.

6.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-327779

ABSTRACT

Background: Isolation of close contact people and negative test certification are used to manage the spread of new coronavirus infections worldwide. These effectively prevent the spread of infection in advance, but they can lead to a decline in socio-economic activity. Thus, the present study quantified the extent to which isolation and negative test certification respectively reduce the risk of infection. Methods: A discrete-time SEIR model was used as the infectious disease model, and equations for calculating the conditional probability of non-infection status given negative test results on two different days were derived. Results: The respective non-infection probabilities with two negative PCR test results, and with one negative PCR test result and one antigen test result, were quantified. By substituting initial parameters of the SEIR model into these probabilities, the present study revealed the following: (1) isolating close contact individuals can reduce by 80% the risk of infection during the first five days, but five more days are needed to reduce the risk 10% more, and seven more days to reduce the risk 20% more;and (2) if an individual with a negative PCR test result has a negative antigen test result the next day, then his or her infection probability is between 0.6% and 0.7%. Conclusions: Five-day isolation has a proportionally greater effect on risk reduction, compared to longer isolation;and thus, if an isolation period of longer than five days is contemplated, both the risk reduction and the negative effects from such increased isolation should be considered. Regarding negative test certification, our results provide those in managerial positions, who must decide whether to accept the risk and hold mass-gathering events, with quantitative information that may be useful in their decision-making.

7.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-327275

ABSTRACT

While mass gathering events have resumed in conjunction with vaccine-testing (VT) packages, their effects on reducing COVID-19 risk remain unclear. Here, we used an environmental exposure model to analyze the effects of vaccinations and proof of negative test results on reducing infection risk and serious illness among spectators at mass gathering events. We then analyzed the difference in risk with and without VT and regular seat zoning. Risk of infection and serious illness were quantified using a model incorporating parameters such as vaccination coverage, vaccine prevention effectiveness, and sensitivity of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or qualitative antigen tests. When vaccine prevention effectiveness was 50% (corresponding to 4 months for the delta variant and 1-2 months for the omicron variant after the second vaccine dose), the risk of infection and serious illness among vaccinated spectators were 0.32-0.40 and 0.13-0.16 times of those who tested negative, respectively. In contrast, the risks of infection and serious illness among vaccinated spectators without measures such as mask wearing were 4.0 and 1.6 times higher than those among unvaccinated spectators with such measures, respectively. The risk of infection with an 80% vaccination coverage and a vaccine prevention effectiveness of 20% (corresponding to 5-6 months for the delta variant or 3-4 months for the omicron variant after the second vaccine dose) was comparable to that of a 20% vaccine coverage and a vaccine prevention effectiveness of 80% (corresponding to 1-3 months for delta variant after the second vaccine dose). Regarding zoning, there was little difference in risk with a vaccination coverage of ≥80%. Adherence to individual measures after vaccination and maintenance of high vaccine effectiveness among spectators at stadiums are important for reducing risk of infection and serious illness. Furthermore, seat zoning did not affect overall infection risk reduction.

9.
Microb Risk Anal ; 20: 100199, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1561077

ABSTRACT

Effective measures to reduce the risk of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection in overseas travelers are urgently needed. However, the effectiveness of current testing and isolation protocols is not yet fully understood. Here, we examined how the timing of testing and the number of tests conducted affect the spread of COVID-19 infection associated with airplane travel. We used two mathematical models of infectious disease dynamics to examine how different test protocols changed the density of infected individuals traveling by airplane and entering another country. We found that the timing of testing markedly affected the spread of COVID-19 infection. A single test conducted on the day before departure was the most effective at reducing the density of infected individuals travelling; this effectiveness decreased with increasing time before departure. After arrival, immediate testing was found to overlook individuals infected on the airplane. With respect to preventing infected individuals from entering the destination country, isolation with a single test on day 7 or 8 after arrival was comparable with isolation only for 11 or 14 days, respectively, depending on the model used, indicating that isolation length can be shortened with appropriately timed testing.

10.
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).

11.
Microb Risk Anal ; 19: 100162, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1525906

ABSTRACT

The 2020 Olympic/Paralympic Games have been postponed to 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We developed a model that integrated source-environment-receptor pathways to evaluate how preventive efforts can reduce the infection risk among spectators at the opening ceremony of Tokyo Olympic Games. We simulated viral loads of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) emitted from infectors through talking/coughing/sneezing and modeled temporal environmental behaviors, including virus inactivation and transfer. We performed Monte Carlo simulations to estimate the expected number of newly infected individuals with and without preventive measures, yielding the crude probability of a spectator being an infector among the 60,000 people expected to attend the opening ceremony. Two indicators, i.e., the expected number of newly infected individuals and the newly infected individuals per infector entry, were proposed to demonstrate the extent of achievable infection risk reduction levels by implementing possible preventive measures. A no-prevention scenario produced 1.5-1.7 newly infected individuals per infector entry, whereas a combination of cooperative preventive measures by organizers and the spectators achieved a 99% risk reduction, corresponding to 0.009-0.012 newly infected individuals per infector entry. The expected number of newly infected individuals was calculated as 0.005 for the combination of cooperative preventive scenarios with the crude probability of a spectator being an infector of 1 × 10-5. Based on our estimates, a combination of cooperative preventions between organizers and spectators is required to prevent a viral spread at the Tokyo Olympic/Paralympic Games. Further, under the assumption that society accepts < 10 newly infected persons traced to events held during the entire Olympic/Paralympic Games, we propose a crude probability of infectors of < 5 × 10-5 as a benchmark for the suppression of the infection. This is the first study to develop a model that can assess the infection risk among spectators due to exposure pathways at a mass gathering event.

12.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(19)2021 09 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1444186

ABSTRACT

Infection control at nursing homes is a top priority to address the COVID-19 pandemic because people who are the most vulnerable to the pathogen live in close contact. Currently, control measures specifically for nursing homes often ignore under-resourced condition of the facilities. To make guidelines assuming realistic conditions, an expert meeting with 16 members established the key challenges in nursing homes, the basics of infection control, and the major transmission routes. A list of existing guidance was compiled and each item in the list was peer-reviewed by eight experts considering three aspects: significance, scientific validity, and feasibility. Factors related to the nursing home environment, the nature of SARS-CoV-2 transmission, and patient characteristics were identified as the causes of difficulties in infection control at nursing homes. To develop realistic prevention measures in under-resourced condition such as nursing homes, we may need to accept there are no perfect control measures that can achieve zero risk. Instead, the guidelines are based on the concept of deep defense, and practical checklists with 75 items were established. The evaluation of nursing homes by independent organizations using the checklists would be helpful to achieve sustainable infection control.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Humans , Japan , Nursing Homes , SARS-CoV-2
13.
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).

14.
Japanese Journal of Risk AnalysisVol ; 30(4):1-6, 2021.
Article in Japanese | J-STAGE | ID: covidwho-1200354

ABSTRACT

At the 2020 annual meeting of The Society of Risk Analysis Japan, we hosted a special session focusing on novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as an emerging risk. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the regulatory science perspective is very important as countermeasures have to be decided in a very limited time and without sufficient scientific knowledge. The objective of the session was to discuss the contribution of risk science to countermeasures against COVID-19. The topics were as follows: (1) science and policy under the risk governance;(2) risk assessment at mass gathering events;(3) regulatory science of the infection risk management and the regulatory framework issue;(4) comparison of mortality risk and economic impact.

15.
SSM Popul Health ; 14: 100801, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1185282

ABSTRACT

Although the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and relevant preventive measures can affect the economic status and mental health of the public, their effect remains unraveled owing to a limited number of surveys conducted before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. We investigated the association of COVID-19 and relevant measures with multivariate outcomes among people affected by the Fukushima disaster in 2011 using the difference-in-differences (DID) method. We then analyzed the associations between sociodemographic factors and outcomes. We assessed psychological distress, problem drinking, insomnia state, unemployment, household economic decline, and interpersonal problems using three questionnaire surveys administered in 2018, 2019, and 2020. Participants were grouped according to three time periods by dates of voluntary stay-at-home requests (February 26) and the declaration of emergency (April 16) in Japan. The years 2020 and 2019 were regarded as the treatment group and control group, respectively, after confirming that no DIDs were found between 2018 and 2019. We performed regression analyses to identify the risk factors for outcomes. The DIDs were significant for household economic decline after the declaration of emergency, whereas problem drinking significantly improved. No significant DIDs were observed for other mental health outcomes including psychological distress and insomnia state. Absence of counselors was positively and significantly associated with all outcomes in 2020. Overall, people affected by the Fukushima disaster experienced more economic damage after the declaration of emergency during the COVID-19 pandemic but their mental health status did not reduce. Identifying people who have no counselors and providing them with support are emergent requirements to prevent a subsequent mental health decline.

16.
PeerJ ; 8: e9730, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-831038

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Risk communication is widely accepted as a significant factor for policy makers, academic researchers, and practitioners in diverse fields. However, there remains a lack of comprehensive knowledge about how risk communication is currently conducted across fields and about the way risk communication is evaluated. METHODOLOGY: This study systematically searched for materials from three scholarly search engines and one journal with a single search term of "risk communication." The eligibility assessment selected peer-reviewed articles published in English that evaluated risk communication activities. Emphasis was placed on articles published in recent years accounting for about half of the pre-selected ones. Data on field of study, intervention timing, target audience, communication type, and objectives/evaluation indicators was extracted from the articles. Patterns of objectives/evaluation indicators used in risk communication activities were compared with those of the definitions and purposes of risk communication stated by relevant organizations. Association analysis was conducted based on study fields and objectives/evaluation indicators. RESULTS: The screening process yielded 292 articles that were published between 2011 and 2017 in various fields, such as medicine, food safety, chemical substances, and disasters/emergencies. The review process showed that many activities were performed in the medical field, during non-/pre-crisis periods. Recent activities primarily targeted citizens/Non-Profit Organizations (NPOs), and was disseminated in the form of large group or mass communication. While "knowledge increase," "change in risk perception and concern alleviation," and "decision making and behavior change" were commonly addressed in practice, "trust-building" and "reduction in psychological distress" were rarely focused. The analysis also indicated that the medical field tends to perform risk communication at the individual or small group level, in contrast to the food safety field. Further, risk communications in the non-/pre-crisis period are more likely to aim at "changes in risk perception and concern alleviation" than those in the crisis period. Risk communications that aim at "changes in risk perception and concern alleviation" are likely to be presented in a large group or mass communication, whereas those that aim at "decision making and behavior change" are likely to be conducted at the individual or small group level. CONCLUSION: An overview of recent activities may provide those who engage in risk communication with an opportunity to learn from practices in different fields or those conducted in different intervention timings. Devoting greater attention to trust building and reduction in psychological distress and exploring non-citizen/NPO stakeholders' needs would be beneficial across academic and professional disciplines.

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