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1.
Nihon Ika Daigaku Igakkai Zasshi ; 17(4):194-197, 2021.
Article in Japanese | J-Stage | ID: covidwho-1542152
2.
Nihon Naika Gakkai Zasshi ; 109(11):2264-2269, 2020.
Article in Japanese | J-STAGE | ID: covidwho-1511915
3.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 27(10): 1-9, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1486730

ABSTRACT

To deal with the risk of emerging diseases with many unknowns, close and timely collaboration and communication between science experts and policymakers are crucial to developing and implementing an effective science-based intervention strategy. The Expert Meeting, an ad hoc medical advisory body, was established in February 2020 to advise Japan's COVID-19 Response Headquarters. The group played an important role in the policymaking process, promoting timely situation awareness and developing science-based proposals on interventions that were promptly reflected in government actions. However, this expert group may have been overly proactive in taking on the government's role in crisis management. For the next stage of managing the coronavirus disease pandemic and future pandemics, the respective roles of the government and its advisory bodies need to be clearly defined. Leadership and strategic risk communication by the government are key.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Government , Humans , Japan/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
4.
Pediatr Int ; 2021 Jul 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1299195

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the lives of people of all ages. Most reports on pediatric cases suggest that children experience fewer and milder symptoms than do adults. This is the first nationwide study in Japan focusing on pediatric cases reported by pediatricians, including cases with no or mild symptoms. METHODS: We analyzed the epidemiological and clinical characteristics and transmission patterns of 840 pediatric (<16 years old) COVID-19 cases reported between February and December 2020 in Japan, using a dedicated database which was maintained voluntarily by members of the Japan Pediatric Society. RESULTS: Almost half of the patients (47.7%) were asymptomatic, while most of the others presented mild symptoms. At the time of admission or first outpatient clinic visit, 84.0% of the cases were afebrile (<37.5°C). In total, 609 cases (72.5%) were exposed to COVID-19-positive household members. We analyzed the influence of nationwide school closures that were introduced in March 2020 on COVID-19 transmission routes among children in Japan. Transmission within households occurred most frequently, with no significant difference between the periods before and after declaring nationwide school closures (70.9% and 74.5%, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 symptoms in children are less severe than those in adults. School closure appeared to have a limited effect on transmission. Controlling household transmission from adult family members is the most important measure for prevention of COVID-19 among children.

5.
Cell Rep Med ; 2(6): 100311, 2021 Jun 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1230816

ABSTRACT

The ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is a major global public health concern. Although rapid point-of-care testing for detecting viral antigen is important for management of the outbreak, the current antigen tests are less sensitive than nucleic acid testing. In our current study, we produce monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) that exclusively react with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and exhibit no cross-reactivity with other human coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV. Molecular modeling suggests that the mAbs bind to epitopes present on the exterior surface of the nucleocapsid, making them suitable for detecting SARS-CoV-2 in clinical samples. We further select the optimal pair of anti-SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein (NP) mAbs using ELISA and then use this mAb pair to develop immunochromatographic assay augmented with silver amplification technology. Our mAbs recognize the variants of concern (501Y.V1-V3) that are currently in circulation. Because of their high performance, the mAbs of this study can serve as good candidates for developing antigen detection kits for COVID-19.

6.
Vaccine ; 39(22): 3018-3024, 2021 05 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1208593

ABSTRACT

The Japanese immunization program has made considerable progress since 2009: several new vaccines have been introduced and most are included in the National Immunization Program (NIP). In October 2020, the Japanese law on immunization was revised, which resulted in a few laudable achievements. First, rotavirus vaccines were added to the NIP, 10 years after their introduction, and noteworthy studies of vaccine effectiveness and the incidence of intussusception in Japanese children were published. Second, rules on vaccine intervals-which had been a longstanding concern-were withdrawn. In addition to this revision of the law, the Japanese version of the Vaccine Information Statement (VIS) was released by the Japan Pediatric Society in 2018. The VIS provides useful caregiver information on general immunization concepts and individual vaccines. Further challenges for the Japanese immunization program include (1) administering a booster dose of pertussis-containing vaccine to preschool children or teenagers, (2) reestablishing the active recommendation for human papilloma virus vaccines, (3) adding the mumps and influenza vaccines to the NIP, and (4) ensuring optimal dosing of seasonal influenza vaccines. During the current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, vaccination rates among children have been decreasing in many countries. In Japan, vaccination rates have been stable in infants, but declining among toddlers and school-aged children, despite public awareness of the need for timely administration of vaccines during the pandemic. Clearly, further action is needed if we are to adequately protect children living in Japan from vaccine-preventable diseases.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adolescent , Child , Child, Preschool , Humans , Immunization Programs , Infant , Japan , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
8.
J Infect Chemother ; 27(2): 387-389, 2021 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-957212

ABSTRACT

The duration of viral shedding of SARS-CoV-2 is usually less than 10 days. We experienced a COVID-19 case with prolonged viral shedding for 2 months. His cell mediated immunity has been depressed (CD4+T cell <100/µl) due to advanced malignant lymphoma and chemotherapy which had been completed 4 months prior to the onset of symptoms of COVID-19. We administered several treatments against COVID-19, however the results of Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) from nasopharyngeal specimens remained positive to SARS-CoV-2 for 2 months. Moreover, virus isolation assays performed on Day 59 also remained positive. He was finally discharged on Day 69 with two consecutive negative PCR results for SARS-CoV-2. Immunocompromised status may prolong viral shedding and it is therefore important for the clinician to take into account this when assessing such patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Immunocompromised Host , Lymphoma/complications , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Virus Shedding , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Lymphoma/virology , Male , Middle Aged , Nasopharynx/virology , RNA, Viral/analysis , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Time Factors , Treatment Outcome
9.
BMJ Paediatr Open ; 4(1): e000854, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-873550

ABSTRACT

We aimed to investigate the confirmed COVID-19 cases among students and teachers in elementary schools (ages 6-12 years) and junior high schools (ages 13-15 years) in Japan between 1 June and 31 July 2020. We requested all schools to provide reports when students or teachers tested positive for COVID-19. A total of 207 cases were reported among students. Household transmission was identified as the dominant transmission route, confirmed in 71.4% of elementary schools and 60.3% of junior high schools. A total of 39 cases were reported among teachers, of which transmission route was unknown in 72.4% of elementary schools and 90.0% of junior high schools.

10.
Kansenshogaku Zasshi ; 94(4):500-506, 2020.
Article in Japanese | WHO COVID | ID: covidwho-694686

ABSTRACT

The number of the patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is increasing, and shortage of hospital beds for these patients is a cause for serious concern. Here, we report the clinical course of 11 patients who were admitted to our hospital with COVID-19 that developed during their quarantine period in a large cruise ship, and discuss the factors associated with the disease severity and length of hospitalization. The median age of the 11 patients was 62 years, and 36% were men. The disease severity was mild in 7 patients, moderate in 4 patients, and severe in none of the patients. The median time from symptom onset to disease remission was 13 days for patients with moderately severe disease, and 7 days for patients with mild disease. The median interval from symptom onset to confirmation of the first negative result of PCR was 16 days for patients with moderately severe disease, and 14 days for patients with mild disease. The median time from symptom onset to discharge was 22.5 days for patients with moderately severe disease cases, and 16 days for patients with mild disease. Some patients needed prolonged hospitalization because of persistently positive results of PCR even after remission of symptoms. Comparison between the patient groups with moderately severe disease and mild disease showed that the patients with moderately severe disease were older and had higher serum ferritin and serum amyloid protein (SAA) levels than the patients with mild disease. Even in patients with mild to moderate COVID-19, two to three weeks were required from symptom onset to confirmation of the first negative result of PCR, and this was one of the major factors for prolonged hospitalization. The serum ferritin levels and SAA levels might be predictors of the disease severity.

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