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1.
Int J Epidemiol ; 51(1): 75-84, 2022 02 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1493814

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) continues to be a major global health burden. This study aims to estimate the all-cause excess mortality occurring in the COVID-19 outbreak in Japan, 2020, by sex and age group. METHODS: Daily time series of mortality for the period January 2015-December 2020 in all 47 prefectures of Japan were obtained from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, Japan. A two-stage interrupted time-series design was used to calculate excess mortality. In the first stage, we estimated excess mortality by prefecture using quasi-Poisson regression models in combination with distributed lag non-linear models, adjusting for seasonal and long-term variations, weather conditions and influenza activity. In the second stage, we used a random-effects multivariate meta-analysis to synthesize prefecture-specific estimates at the nationwide level. RESULTS: In 2020, we estimated an all-cause excess mortality of -20 982 deaths [95% empirical confidence intervals (eCI): -38 367 to -5472] in Japan, which corresponded to a percentage excess of -1.7% (95% eCI: -3.1 to -0.5) relative to the expected value. Reduced deaths were observed for both sexes and in all age groups except those aged <60 and 70-79 years. CONCLUSIONS: All-cause mortality during the COVID-19 outbreak in Japan in 2020 was decreased compared with a historical baseline. Further evaluation of cause-specific excess mortality is warranted.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Disease Outbreaks , Female , Humans , Interrupted Time Series Analysis , Japan/epidemiology , Male , Mortality , SARS-CoV-2
3.
JMA J ; 4(3): 198-206, 2021 Jul 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1353054

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has caused unprecedented global morbidity and mortality. Japan has faced three epidemic "waves" of COVID-19 from early 2020 through early 2021. Here we narratively review the three waves in Japan, describe the key epidemiologic features of COVID-19, and discuss lessons learned. METHODS: We assessed publicly available surveillance data, routine surveillance reports, and other relevant sources-multiple indicators were monitored to improve interpretation of surveillance data. Weekly trends for each wave were described based on the number of case notifications; number of tests performed; proportion of those tests that were positive for the novel coronavirus; the prevalent number of COVID-19 hospitalizations (total hospitalizations and those categorized as severe); and number of COVID-19 deaths. For each indicator and wave, we recorded the first calendar week to show an increase over two consecutive previous weeks, along with the peak week. RESULTS: The spring wave was characterized by detection of cases imported from China, followed by notifications of sporadic cases without travel history, clusters, and mild/asymptomatic cases. The summer wave saw a large increase in notifications and a younger age distribution, but in the context of increased testing with lower test positivity. The winter wave brought considerable morbidity and mortality, surpassing the cumulative case counts and fatalities from the earlier waves, with high peak values. Overall, relative to the first wave, the burden of severe outcomes was lower in the second and higher in the third wave, but varied by prefecture. In all three waves, severe outcomes peaked after notification counts and test positivity peaked; severe outcomes were also consistently skewed toward the elderly. CONCLUSIONS: Important lessons were learned from each wave and across waves-some aspects remained constant, while others changed over time. In order to rapidly detect an increase in incidence, continuous, timely, and sensitive surveillance-using multiple information sources with careful interpretations-will be key in COVID-19 control.

4.
J Epidemiol ; 31(8): 487-494, 2021 08 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1247748

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Notifications of novel coronavirus infections increased in early 2020 in Japan. We described characteristics of novel coronavirus infection cases and analyzed risk factors for severe outcomes. METHODS: Cases were persons with laboratory-confirmed novel coronavirus infection reported under national surveillance between January and March 2020. Clinical characteristics were described, and risk factors of (1) intensive care unit [ICU] admission and (2) invasive ventilation/death were analyzed using Poisson regression. RESULTS: Among the 516 cases analyzed, median age was 60 years (range: 1-97 years) and 285 (55%) were male. Common symptoms/signs were fever (375/475, 79%), cough (353/465, 76%), and pneumonia (245/387, 63%). Ten (2%) cases died. Of the 348 cases with data, 50 (14%) required invasive ventilation. Adjusted for each other, male gender and 1-year increase in age were associated with ICU admission (risk ratio [RR] 4.18; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.69-10.32 and RR 1.05; 95% CI, 1.03-1.08, respectively) and invasive ventilation/death (RR 2.79; 95% CI, 1.49-5.21 and RR 1.06; 95% CI, 1.04-1.08, respectively). Diabetes, dyslipidemia, hyperuricemia, and lung diseases were also associated with severe outcomes. Of the 80 cases asymptomatic at hospitalization, 40 developed symptoms and five of them >70 years of age required invasive ventilation. CONCLUSIONS: The early stage of the novel coronavirus epidemic in Japan disproportionately affected the elderly. Older age, male gender, and underlying conditions were associated with severe outcomes. Notably, some elderly case-patients who were asymptomatic at diagnosis and promptly hospitalized still went on to develop severe disease, indicating the importance of careful monitoring of certain populations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/therapy , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Intensive Care Units , Respiration, Artificial/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Child, Preschool , Female , Humans , Infant , Japan/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Severity of Illness Index , Treatment Outcome , Young Adult
5.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 27(3): 789-795, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1100024

ABSTRACT

To provide insight into the mortality burden of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Japan, we estimated the excess all-cause deaths for each week during the pandemic, January-May 2020, by prefecture and age group. We applied quasi-Poisson regression models to vital statistics data. 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 1-sided prediction interval. A total of 208-4,322 all-cause excess deaths at the national level indicated a 0.03%-0.72% excess in the observed number of deaths. Prefecture and age structure consistency between the reported COVID-19 deaths and our estimates was weak, suggesting the need to use cause-specific analyses to distinguish between direct and indirect consequences of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/diagnosis , Cause of Death , Humans , Japan/epidemiology , Mortality , SARS-CoV-2
6.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 117(33): 20198-20201, 2020 08 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-691088

ABSTRACT

The Diamond Princess cruise ship was put under quarantine offshore Yokohama, Japan, after a passenger who disembarked in Hong Kong was confirmed as a coronavirus disease 2019 case. We performed whole-genome sequencing of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) directly from PCR+ clinical specimens and conducted a phylogenetic analysis of the outbreak. All tested isolates exhibited a transversion at G11083T, suggesting that SARS-CoV-2 dissemination on the Diamond Princess originated from a single introduction event before the quarantine started. Although further spreading might have been prevented by quarantine, some progeny clusters could be linked to transmission through mass-gathering events in the recreational areas and direct transmission among passengers who shared cabins during the quarantine. This study demonstrates the usefulness of haplotype network/phylogeny analysis in identifying potential infection routes.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Genome, Viral , Haplotypes , Phylogeny , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Ships , Betacoronavirus/classification , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Quarantine , SARS-CoV-2 , Whole Genome Sequencing
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