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1.
J Radiol Prot ; 42(3)2022 07 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1908698

ABSTRACT

The initial health impact caused by radiation disasters can be broadly classified into direct and indirect effects. Though no direct health hazards caused by radiation, such as acute radiation injury, were observed following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident, indirect deaths have been reported, including those caused by initial emergency evacuation and relocation, medical disruption, and psychological and social health effects. However, these indirect health effects have not been prioritised for addressal. We evaluated the radiation disaster experience with that of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic that emerged while facing the challenges from the radiation disaster. Most of the health effects of COVID-19 are directly associated with infection, but indirect health effects of various scales and entities have been reported. The two disasters have similarities in terms of the strain on community healthcare and the large number of deaths. Adapting the measures implemented in the acute to subacute phases of the COVID-19 disaster to radiation disasters may help improve management following future radiation disasters. Based on the experience and findings during the COVID-19 pandemic, the pattern of deaths in radiation disasters can be divided into five major groups: direct deaths, and four indirect patterns of deaths due to a deteriorating supply-demand balance (a hospital-level problem), collapse of the healthcare system (a community-level problem), death due to neglect alongside underlying disease, and diseases other than direct invasion. From the similarities between the two disasters, three main issues should be prioritised as initial emergency evacuation measures in a radiation disaster: emergency exposure medicine, the establishment of a medical system, and protection of death with dignity. The validity of these priority issues needs to be verified in future research.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Disasters , Fukushima Nuclear Accident , Humans , Japan , Nuclear Power Plants , Pandemics
3.
Ind Health ; 59(5): 293-297, 2021 Oct 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1547177

ABSTRACT

This paper reviews three viewpoints regarding the society after the COVID-19 infection on the concept of safety management. The first is the relationship between With COVID-19 and a zero risk. As a result of coexistence with COVID-19 for more than one year, the Japanese society thought that a zero risk is difficult to accomplish, and some risks will be accepted to maintain social activities. This leads a change in a way of thinking from zero risk to risk-based safety management. The second is the change in the way of working. As a result of having experienced remote work forcibly, it will become the hybrid model that incorporated remote work in a conventional method. Personnel evaluation changes from the seniority system to the job evaluation type, and each person's professional ability will be more focused on. The third is the review of the Japanese society system. In Japan, although the infection level was controlled to some extent by the groupism of the self-restraint of actions by mutual monitoring, there is a limit of managing based on groupism. Moreover, as seen in the delay of vaccine development and the medical care collapse, these problems should be improved by changing Japanese society system.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control/organization & administration , Safety Management/organization & administration , Teleworking , COVID-19 Vaccines , Delivery of Health Care/organization & administration , Drug Development , Fukushima Nuclear Accident , Humans , Japan , Risk Assessment , SARS-CoV-2
4.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(11)2021 06 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1266733

ABSTRACT

This study analyzed the suicide mortality rate in 12 municipalities in Fukushima Prefecture designated as evacuation areas following the 2011 nuclear disaster. Changes in suicide rates were examined using an exponential smoothing time series model. In the evacuation areas, the suicide rate of men increased immediately after the disaster and then decreased from 47.8 to 23.1 per 100,000 during about 1½ years after the disaster. However, with the lifting of the evacuation order, it again exceeded that of non-evacuation areas and continued to do so for the next 3 years. On the other hand, the suicide rate in women in the evacuation areas increased later than that in men. These results indicate the need for continuous support following the lifting of the evacuation order. In addition, it is necessary to enhance social networks, which continue to confer protection, because of the isolation of the elderly as highlighted in our previous study.


Subject(s)
Earthquakes , Fukushima Nuclear Accident , Suicide , Aged , Cities , Female , Humans , Japan/epidemiology , Male
5.
Ann ICRP ; 50(1_suppl): 181-186, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1259091

ABSTRACT

Medical disaster response training is provided for international students in Kawauchi Village to share the lessons learnt from the accident at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. At present, this is difficult due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The purpose of this article is to report the development of hands-on medical training software on a topic that does not require in-person attendance. The 'Kawauchi Legends' disaster simulator was developed as a useful tool to teach the medical response to various disasters, and this was applied in a 3-day webinar in October 2020. Fourteen students participated in the webinar and successfully learnt medical management, manipulating their avatars in the virtual environment. This software can be an effective substitute for in-person disaster training without physical involvement. Such innovative teaching methods mean that lessons from the Fukushima accident can continue to be shared, even in the COVID-19 pandemic situation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Disasters , Fukushima Nuclear Accident , Radiation Protection , Computers , Humans , Japan , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Software
6.
J Radiat Res ; 62(Supplement_1): i88-i94, 2021 May 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1225631

ABSTRACT

After chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or explosive (CBRNE) disasters, trepidation and infodemics about invisible hazards may cause indirect casualties in the affected society. Effective communication regarding technical issues between disaster experts and the residents is key to averting such secondary impacts. However, misconceptions about scientific issues and mistrust in experts frequently occur even with intensive and sincere communications. This miscommunication is usually attributed to residents' conflicts with illiteracy, emotion, value depositions and ideologies. However, considering that communication is an interactive process, there are likely to be additional factors attributable to experts. This article aims to summarize the gaps in rationality between experts and residents observed after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster to describe how residents perceived experts. There were discrepancies in the perception of 'facts', the perception of probability, the interpretation of risk comparison, what were included as risk trade-offs, the view of the disaster, whose behavior would be changed by the communication and whether risk should be considered a science. These findings suggest that there was a non-scientific rationality among residents, which often exercised a potent influence on everyday decision-making. It might not be residents but experts who need to change their behavior. The discrepancies described in this article are likely to apply to communications following any CBRNE disasters that affect people's lives, such as the current COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, our experiences in Fukushima may provide clues to averting mutual mistrust between experts and achieving better public health outcomes during and after a crisis.


Subject(s)
Communication , Fukushima Nuclear Accident , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Probability , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/physiology
9.
BMJ Case Rep ; 13(9)2020 Sep 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-781109

ABSTRACT

The global threat posed by the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need to accurately identify the immediate and long-term postdisaster impacts on disaster-relief workers. We examined the case of a local government employee suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and bipolar II disorder following the Great East Japan Earthquake. The complex and harsh experience provoked a hypomanic response such as elated feelings with increased energy, decreased need for sleep and an increase in goal-directed activity, which allowed him to continue working, even though he was adversely affected by the disaster. However, 3.5 years later, when he suffered further psychological damage, his PTSD symptoms became evident. In addition to treating mood disorders, trauma-focused psychotherapy was required for his recovery. Thereafter, we considered the characteristics of mental health problems that emerge in disaster-relief workers, a long time after the disaster, and the conditions and treatments necessary for recovery.


Subject(s)
Bipolar Disorder/psychology , Earthquakes , Fukushima Nuclear Accident , Relief Work , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/psychology , Tsunamis , Adult , Betacoronavirus , Bipolar Disorder/therapy , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections , Disasters , Humans , Implosive Therapy , Male , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , SARS-CoV-2 , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/therapy
11.
QJM ; 113(11): 787-788, 2020 Nov 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-623816

ABSTRACT

Under the COVID-19 pandemic, mitigation of psychological distress is required. At present, the demand for remote intervention for the numerous affected people is increasing, and telephonic support can be useful. Since the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011, we have been developing a large-scale telephonic support system and implementing brief interventions for the Fukushima people identified at risk of psychological problems such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. In this article, we report the lessons from the Fukushima disaster that can be applied to the COVID-19 pandemic and describe how the telephonic intervention facilitates easier access to psychological help for people with a broad range of psychological distress who are not able to visit treatment or care resources. In our telephonic intervention, we first sent a mental health and lifestyle survey to the people affected by the Fukushima disaster. The counselor team then provided telephonic intervention to high-risk persons as identified on the basis of the survey results. The individuals had expected to receive from the telephonic system help mainly in the form of stress-coping methods, social resource information such as schools, public offices or medical facilities, and lifestyle advice. Since we also experienced that psychological care for telephone counselors was necessary to mitigate the substantial emotional burden, we used the following three approaches: (i) regular supervision of the telephone counseling methods, (ii) seminars for improvement of counseling skills and (iii) individual psychological support. The positive loops between counselors and consulters will help advance a society affected by a disaster.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Counseling/organization & administration , Mental Health , Outcome Assessment, Health Care , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/therapy , Stress, Psychological/therapy , Adult , Aged , COVID-19 , Community Health Services/organization & administration , Coronavirus Infections/psychology , Female , Fukushima Nuclear Accident , Humans , Japan , Learning , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , Pneumonia, Viral/psychology , Program Evaluation , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/etiology
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