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1.
J Infect Chemother ; 2022.
Article in English | ScienceDirect | ID: covidwho-2031455

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: During the COVID-19 pandemic, the incidence of many droplet-transmitted infections decreased due to increased mask-wearing and social distancing. Contrastingly, there has been concern that COVID-19 countermeasures, such as lockdowns, may increase legionellosis incidence via water stagnation. During the pandemic in Japan, four state of emergency declarations were imposed between 2020-2021, which makes it particularly suitable to test this hypothesis. METHODS: We use country-level surveillance data from the National Institute of Infectious Diseases to track the relative incidence of legionellosis compared to invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) during the COVID-19 pandemic in Japan, with a focus on the periods just after state of emergency declarations were lifted. RESULTS: The absolute number of legionellosis and IPD cases decreased in 2020 and 2021 compared to previous years. The average relative incidence of legionellosis as well as the variance of the relative incidence significantly increased during the pandemic compared to previous years. There were no increases in the relative incidence of legionellosis during the periods immediately following emergency declaration liftings, but the relative incidence did increase considerably during the first two states of emergency. CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 countermeasures appear more effective at decreasing the incidence of human-to-human transmitted infections, such as IPD, compared to environmentally-transmitted infections, such as legionellosis. Though no evidence was found to suggest that legionellosis cases increased after state of emergency declarations, public health efforts should continue to emphasize the importance of routine sanitation and water system maintenance to prevent water stagnation and Legionellaspp. contamination.

2.
Review of Economic Analysis ; 14(2):221-252, 2022.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-1929538

ABSTRACT

This study examines the gender impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the labor market and household wellbeing, using an online survey of the users of Pakistan’s largest online job platform. The analysis shows that the pandemic led to an unprecedented level of economic insecurity for employees and employers alike, resulting in widespread job loss, business closures, a slowdown in business activity, and reduced working hours. The sectors where female workers are heavily concentrated, such as education, were more severely affected. The pandemic has also led to a disproportionate increase in women’s unpaid care work and increased their reported rates of stress and anxiety. These findings suggest that the pandemic had significant wellbeing impacts on women in Pakistan, including a decline in the female labor force participation rate, which is already among the world’s lowest. © 2022 Emcet O. Taş, Tanima Ahmed, Norihiko Matsuda, and Shinsaku Nomura.

3.
Biostatistics and Epidemiology ; 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1882954

ABSTRACT

As people move around using public transportation networks, such as train and airplanes, it is expected that emerging infectious diseases will spread on the network. The scan statistics approach has been frequently applied to identify high-risk locations, and the results are widely used for making a clinical decisions in a timely manner. However, they are not optimally designed for modeling the spread and might not effectively work under the emergency situation where computational time is essentially important. We propose a new scan statistics approach for the public transportation network, called PTNS (Public Transportation Network Scan). PTNS utilizes the available network structure to construct potential candidates of clusters, and thus it can work well especially in situations where public transportation is the main medium of the infection spread. Further, it is designed for rapid surveillance. Lastly, PTNS is generalized to detect space-time clusters by customizing the iteration for potential clusters creation. Using the simulation data generated with a real railway network, we showed that, PTNS outperformed the conventional methods, including Circular- and Flex-scan approaches in terms of the detection performance, while the computational time is feasible.

4.
Public Health ; 203: 15-18, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1550037

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: In Japan, several studies have reported no excess all-cause deaths (the difference between the observed and expected number of deaths) during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in 2020. This study aimed to estimate the weekly excess deaths in Japan's 47 prefectures for 2021 until June 27. STUDY DESIGN: Vital statistical data on deaths were obtained from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan. For this analysis, we used data from January 2012 to June 2021. METHODS: A quasi-Poisson regression was used to estimate the expected weekly number of deaths. Excess deaths were expressed as the range of differences between the observed and expected number of all-cause deaths and the 95% upper bound of the one-sided prediction interval. RESULTS: Since January 2021, excess deaths were observed for the first time in the week corresponding to April 12-18 and have continued through mid-June, with the highest excess percentage occurring in the week corresponding to May 31-June 6 (excess deaths: 1431-2587; excess percentage: 5.95-10.77%). Similarly, excess deaths were observed in consecutive weeks from April to June 2021 in 18 of 47 prefectures. CONCLUSIONS: For the first time since February 2020, when the first COVID-19 death was reported in Japan, excess deaths possibly related to COVID-19 were observed in April 2021 in Japan, during the fourth wave. This may reflect the deaths of non-infected people owing to the disruption that the pandemic has caused.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , Japan/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
5.
Health ; 13(6):629-636, 2021.
Article in English | CAB Abstracts | ID: covidwho-1365771

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 has highlighted the underlying global burden from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and the lack of resiliency in health systems to tackle highly preventable risk factors, which have left populations vulnerable to acute health crises. The persistent issue of unhealthy behaviors, particularly those related to a high-sodium diet, suggests inadequate policy attention and insufficient funding for public health and behavioral research. This year, Japan will host the Tokyo Nutrition for Growth (N4G) Summit 2021. The summit is being held in the era of COVID-19, offering a historic opportunity to make a difference on the global health agenda for food and nutrition and to reaffirm the global commitment to prevent future health crises by addressing the growing burden of NCDs and building better prepared and more resilient health systems. This perspective article suggests that we, global health researchers and decision-makers, should rethink the value of using "Umami" substances as candidates for a practical salt-reducing alternative that originated in Japan (while maintaining the affordability, accessibility, availability, and desirability of healthy food). Reduced salt intake will help address the global syndemic of COVID-19 pandemic and high rates of hypertension, heart diseases, diabetes, and other NCDs. By addressing these issues, it will make countries more resilient to future pandemic threats.

6.
Public Health ; 187: 157-160, 2020 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-733655

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: The Japanese prime minister declared a state of emergency on April 7 2020 to combat the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This declaration was unique in the sense that it was essentially driven by the voluntary restraint of the residents. We examined the change of the infection route by investigating contact experiences with COVID-19-positive cases. STUDY DESIGN: This study is a population-level questionnaire-based study using a social networking service (SNS). METHODS: To assess the impact of the declaration, this study used population-level questionnaire data collected from an SNS with 121,375 respondents (between March 27 and May 5) to assess the change in transmission routes over the study period, which was measured by investigating the association between COVID-19-related symptoms and (self-reported) contact with COVID-19-infected individuals. RESULTS: The results of this study show that the declaration prevented infections in the workplace, but increased domestic infections as people stayed at home. However, after April 24, workplace infections started to increase again, driven by the increase in community-acquired infections. CONCLUSIONS: While careful interpretation is necessary because our data are self-reported from voluntary SNS users, these findings indicate the impact of the declaration on the change in transmission routes of COVID-19 over time in Japan.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19 , Community-Acquired Infections/epidemiology , Contact Tracing , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Japan/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Occupational Health/statistics & numerical data , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Self Report , Social Networking , Surveys and Questionnaires , Symptom Assessment , Young Adult
7.
Public Health ; 192: 12-14, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-343588

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: On March 28, the Japanese government decided on the "Basic Policies for Novel Coronavirus Disease Control" and called on the public to thoroughly implement social distancing measures (i.e., behavioral restrictions to limit the frequency and intensity of human contact), especially telework. METHODS: We used population-level questionnaire data from a social networking service (SNS), with 275,560 respondents from March 5 to April 6, to evaluate the relationship between telework implementation and the presence of a fever (body temperature higher than 37.5 °C) within 1 month as a surrogate indicator of COVID-19 infection, by occupation type and age-group. RESULTS: Among company employees, statistical significance was identified in the 15- to 29-year and 30- to 59-year age-groups, showing higher fever rates in the non-teleworker group (for the 15- to 29-year age-group, non-teleworkers: 7.64%; teleworkers: 6.45%; P = 0.02; for the 30- to 59-year age-group, non-teleworkers: 3.46%; teleworkers: 3.14%; P = 0.02). CONCLUSIONS: Telework remains a controversial topic in Japan as the government called for emergency measures. Although caution is warranted in interpreting our findings because our data are limited to the voluntary SNS users, they will be essential to push forward with more measures to promote social distancing measures in the midst of Japan's current tense political climate.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Fever/epidemiology , Physical Distancing , Teleworking/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/psychology , Female , Fever/etiology , Government , Humans , Japan , Middle Aged , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Networking , Social Work , Surveys and Questionnaires , Young Adult
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