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J Infect Chemother ; 27(11): 1639-1647, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1340714


INTRODUCTION: The epidemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) rapidly spread worldwide, and the various infection control measures have a significant influence on the spread of many infectious diseases. However, there have been no multicenter studies on how the number of hospitalized children with various infectious diseases changed before and after the outbreak of COVID-19 in Japan. METHODS: We conducted a multicenter, prospective survey for hospitalized pediatric patients in 18 hospitals in Hokkaido Prefecture, Japan, from July 2019 to February 2021. We defined July 2019 to February 2020 as pre-COVID-19, and July 2020 to February 2021 as post-COVID-19. We surveyed various infectious diseases by sex and age. RESULTS: In total, 5300 patients were hospitalized during the study period. The number of patients decreased from 4266 in the pre-COVID-19 period to 701 (16.4%) post-COVID-19. Patients with influenza and RSV decreased from 308 to 795 pre-COVID-19 to zero and three (0.4%) post-COVID-19. However, patients with adenovirus (respiratory infection) only decreased to 60.9% (46-28) of pre-COVID levels. Patients with rotavirus, norovirus, and adenovirus gastroenteritis decreased markedly post-COVID-19 to 2.6% (38-1), 27.8% (97-27) and 13.5% (37-5). The number of patients with UTIs was similar across the two periods (109 and 90). KD patients decreased to 31.7% (161-51) post-COVID-19. CONCLUSIONS: We suggest that current infection control measures for COVID-19 such as wearing masks, washing hands, and disinfecting hands with alcohol are effective against various infectious diseases. However, these effects vary by disease.

COVID-19 , Communicable Diseases , Child , Child, Hospitalized , Humans , Japan/epidemiology , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
Pediatr Int ; 2021 Jul 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1299195


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.

Microorganisms ; 8(10)2020 Oct 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-890391


Favipiravir was initially developed as an antiviral drug against influenza and is currently used in clinical trials against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection (COVID-19). This agent is presumably involved in RNA chain termination during influenza virus replication, although the molecular interactions underlying its potential impact on the coronaviruses including SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV, and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) remain unclear. We performed in silico studies to elucidate detailed molecular interactions between favipiravir and the SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, and influenza virus RNA-dependent RNA polymerases (RdRp). As a result, no interactions between favipiravir ribofuranosyl-5'-triphosphate (F-RTP), the active form of favipiravir, and the active sites of RdRps (PB1 proteins) from influenza A (H1N1)pdm09 virus were found, yet the agent bound to the tunnel of the replication genome of PB1 protein leading to the inhibition of replicated RNA passage. In contrast, F-RTP bound to the active sites of coronavirus RdRp in the presence of the agent and RdRp. Further, the agent bound to the replicated RNA terminus in the presence of agent, magnesium ions, nucleotide triphosphate, and RdRp proteins. These results suggest that favipiravir exhibits distinct mechanisms of action against influenza virus and various coronaviruses.