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Chungmin Park 2 Articles
Changes in the pattern and disease burden of acute respiratory viral infections before and during the COVID-19 pandemic
Chungmin Park, Donghan Lee, Bryan Inho Kim, Sujin Park, Gyehee Lee, Sangwoo Tak
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2022;13(3):203-211.   Published online June 30, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2022.0144
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AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
We conducted a comparative analysis of the differences in the incidence of 8 acute respiratory viruses and the changes in their patterns before and during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Methods: Three sentinel surveillance systems of the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency and data from the Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service were analyzed. The average numbers of reported cases and the related hospital admissions and outpatient data were compared between April 2018–2019 and 2020–2021. Changes in the disease burden and medical expenditures between these 2 time periods were evaluated. Results: During the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of reported cases of all acute respiratory viral infections, except for human bocavirus, decreased significantly. Data from the Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service also showed decreases in the actual amount of medical service usage and a marked reduction in medical expenditures. Conclusion: Non-pharmacological interventions in response to COVID-19 showed preventive effects on the transmission of other respiratory viruses, as well as COVID-19. Although COVID-19 had a tremendous impact on society as a whole, with high social costs, there were also positive effects, such as a reduction in the incidence of acute respiratory viral infections.
Epidemiological characteristics of varicella outbreaks in the Republic of Korea, 2016–2020
Eun-Young Kim, Chungmin Park, Gyehee Lee, Suyeon Jeong, Jeongsuk Song, Dong-Han Lee
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2022;13(2):133-141.   Published online April 26, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2022.0087
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AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
We described the trends and epidemiological characteristics of varicella outbreaks from 2016 to 2020 in the Republic of Korea. Methods: We investigated variables such as the outbreak setting, age of patients, vaccination status, and lesion count. The collected data were analyzed with the Cochrane-Armitage trend test and Kruskal-Wallis test. These statistical tests were performed using R ver. 4.0.3. Results: The number of varicella outbreaks increased from 2016 to 2018; however, after a slight decrease in the number of outbreaks in 2019, the number fell sharply in 2020. The median size of outbreaks decreased from 8 to 9 cases during 2016−2019 to 6 cases in 2020. The median duration of outbreaks was 18 days during 2016−2017, 28 days in 2018, 29 days in 2019, and 15 days in 2020. Varicella outbreaks occurred most frequently in elementary schools, and vaccination coverage of patients increased from 89.4% in 2016 to 97.2% in 2019. The median age of patients with outbreak-related varicella decreased from 8 years in 2016 to 6 years in 2020. Conclusion: Significant changes were observed in the age of patients with outbreak-related varicella. Ongoing monitoring of varicella outbreaks should be conducted. Further research will be needed to measure the disease burden of varicella and enable evidence-based policy decisions.

PHRP : Osong Public Health and Research Perspectives