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Volume 12(3); June 2021
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Editorial
The policy art of the “trade-off” for combatting COVID-19
Jong-Koo Lee
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2021;12(3):137-138.   Published online June 24, 2021
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2021.0150
  • 2,029 View
  • 81 Download
PDF
Review Article
Review of the early reports of the epidemiological characteristics of the B.1.1.7 variant of SARS-CoV-2 and its spread worldwide
Yeonju Kim, Eun-Jin Kim, Sang-Won Lee, Donghyok Kwon
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2021;12(3):139-148.   Published online June 24, 2021
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2021.0037
  • 3,385 View
  • 127 Download
  • 4 Citations
AbstractAbstract PDF
The variant B.1.1.7 of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the RNA virus causing the pandemic more than a year worldwide, was reported from United Kingdom (UK) in late December 2020. It was reported that mortality increases by 65% and transmissibility increases by 70%, which may result in an increase of reproduction number to 1.13−1.55 from 0.75−0.85. To analyze the global increasing trend of the variant B.1.1.7, we extracted results of B.1.1.7 from GISAID on May 11 and May 12, 2021, and conducted a doseresponse regression. It took 47 days to reach 20% and 121 days to reach 50% among the sequence submitted from UK. In Korea, cases of B.1.1.7 have increased since the first report of three cases on December 28, 2020. Positive rate of B.1.1.7 in Korea was 21.6% in the week from May 9 to May 15, 2021. Detection rate of the variants is expected to increase further and new variants of SARS-CoV-2 are emerging, so a close monitoring and control would be maintained for months.
Original Articles
A spatial analysis of the association between social vulnerability and the cumulative number of confirmed deaths from COVID-19 in United States counties through November 14, 2020
Baksun Sung
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2021;12(3):149-157.   Published online June 2, 2021
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2020.0372
  • 3,354 View
  • 132 Download
Graphical AbstractGraphical Abstract AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is classified as a natural hazard, and social vulnerability describes the susceptibility of social groups to potential damages from natural hazards. Therefore, the objective of this study was to examine the association between social vulnerability and the cumulative number of confirmed COVID-19 deaths (per 100,000) in 3,141 United States counties.
Methods
The cumulative number of COVID-19 deaths was obtained from USA Facts. Variables related to social vulnerability were obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Social Vulnerability Index and the 2018 5-Year American Community Survey. Data were analyzed using spatial autoregression models.
Results
Lowest income and educational level, as well as high proportions of single parent households, mobile home residents, and people without health insurance were positively associated with a high cumulative number of COVID-19 deaths.
Conclusion
In conclusion, there are regional differences in the cumulative number of COVID-19 deaths in United States counties, which are affected by various social vulnerabilities. Hence, these findings underscore the need to take social vulnerability into account when planning interventions to reduce COVID-19 deaths.
Limitations of immunization registers at community health centers for measuring immunization coverage: a case study of the Japanese encephalitis mass immunization program in Bali Province, Indonesia
Anak A. S. Sawitri, Putu C. D. Yuliyatni, Made D. Ariawan, Komang A. Kartika Sari, Raka Susanti, I Nyoman Sutarsa
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2021;12(3):158-168.   Published online June 2, 2021
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2020.0241
  • 3,478 View
  • 108 Download
  • 1 Citations
Graphical AbstractGraphical Abstract AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
The aim of this study was to compare the coverage of Japanese encephalitis (JE) immunization obtained from a recall survey and immunization registers at community health centers (CHCs) in Bali Province, Indonesia.
Methods
A population-based survey was conducted, and random 2-staged selection of clusters of sub-villages was performed. The sample consisted of households with children aged 9 months to 15 years old. Interviews were carried out with carers to recall JE immunization status. The recall immunization status was considered valid when name, date, and confirmation of immunization were available in an immunization register at a CHC. Descriptive analysis was performed. The completeness of the information within immunization registers at CHCs was assessed.
Results
The coverage of JE immunization obtained from the recall survey was 93.8% (95% confidence interval [CI], 92.8–94.9). It decreased to 74.9% (95% CI, 72.8–77.2) after being validated against immunization registers. The recall coverage of JE immunization was significantly higher than immunization register data suggested. This discrepancy varied from 6.5% to 36.4% across 6 districts; however, none of these districts achieved the recommended target coverage of 95%. The quality of immunization registers varied across CHCs.
Conclusion
The use of an immunization register may result in underestimating the true coverage of vaccination programs, and its utilization for measuring immunization coverage requires further consideration.
Epidemiological, imaging, laboratory, and clinical characteristics and factors related to mortality in patients with COVID-19: a single-center study
Zohreh Azarkar, Hamid Salehiniya, Toba Kazemi, Hamid Abbaszadeh
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2021;12(3):169-176.   Published online May 26, 2021
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2021.0012
  • 2,990 View
  • 94 Download
  • 5 Citations
AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a novel pandemic. Considerable differences in disease severity and the mortality rate have been observed in different parts of the world. The present study investigated the characteristics and outcomes of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in Iran.
Methods
We established a retrospective cohort to study hospitalized COVID-19 patients in Iran. Epidemiological, imaging, laboratory, and clinical characteristics and outcomes were recorded from medical documents. The chi-square test, t-test, and logistic regression models were used to analyze the data. A p<0.05 was considered to indicate statistical significance.
Results
In total, 364 cases (207 males and 157 females) were analyzed. The most common symptoms were cough, fever, and dyspnea. Multifocal bilateral ground-glass opacities with peripheral distribution were the predominant imaging finding. The mean age of patients was 54.28±18.81 years. The mean age of patients who died was 71.50±14.60 years. The mortality rate was 17.6%. The total proportion of patients with a comorbidity was 47.5%, and 84.4% of patients who died had a comorbidity. Sex, history of diabetes mellitus, and dyslipidemia were not significantly associated with mortality (p>0.05). However, mortality showed significant relationships with body mass index; age; history of hypertension, chronic kidney disease (CKD), ischemic heart disease, cerebrovascular accident (CVA), pulmonary disease, and cancer; and abnormal high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) findings (p<0.05 for all). Cancer had the highest odds ratio.
Conclusion
Comorbidities (especially cancer, CKD, and CVA), severe obesity, old age, and abnormal HRCT findings affected the health outcomes of patients hospitalized with COVID-19.
Behavioral interventions for smoking cessation among adolescents: a rapid review and meta-analysis for the Korea Preventive Services Task Force
Younglee Choi, Cheol Min Lee, Belong Cho, Eon Sook Lee, Seung-Won Oh, Naae Lee, Jae Moon Yun
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2021;12(3):177-186.   Published online June 2, 2021
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2021.0018
  • 6,018 View
  • 120 Download
  • 2 Citations
AbstractAbstract PDFSupplementary Material
Objectives
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of behavioral smoking cessation interventions among adolescents.
Methods
MEDLINE, CENTRAL, Embase, CINAHL, KoreaMed, and KMbase were searched from inception to June 2020. Systematic reviews (SRs) or meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) were initially searched to perform a rapid SR. After selecting the final SR, RCTs after the publication year of the selected SR were searched. The primary outcome was smoking status after at least 6 months of follow-up, and the secondary outcome was smoking status at 4 weeks. Two reviewers independently assessed the selected studies’ quality using the Cochrane risk of bias tool. The meta-analysis utilized a Mantel-Haenszel fixed-effect model reporting the relative risk (RR) and 95% confidence interval (CI). The subgroup analysis utilized Cochrane’s Q.
Results
Thirty-two RCTs (11,637 participants) from a single SR were meta-analyzed. After 6 months of follow-up, the intervention group had significantly higher abstinence rates (RR, 1.30; 95% CI, 1.20−1.41; I2=26.46%). At 4 weeks of follow-up, the intervention group also had significantly higher abstinence rates (RR, 1.92; 95% CI, 1.49–2.47; I2=0.00%). The subgroup analysis indicated a significant difference in the abstinence rate according to the study setting and the period between intervention completion and follow-up.
Conclusion
This review showed that adolescent behavioral smoking cessation intervention programs significantly increased abstinence rates compared to the usual care.
Characteristics of hand-to-environment contact during indoor activities in daily life among Korean adults using a video-based observation method
Hyang Soon Oh, Mikyung Ryu, Youngran Yang
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2021;12(3):187-195.   Published online June 8, 2021
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2021.0006
  • 2,280 View
  • 70 Download
AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
The aim of this study was to describe the characteristics of hand-to-environmental contact (HEC) and to identify the factors influencing HEC behavior in Korean adults’ indoor daily life.
Methods
Thirty participants were enrolled from January 14 to February 12, 2018 after providing informed consent for being videotaped. Data were collected by recording their indoor daily lives for 2 hours, resulting in 4,732 HEC cases. To ensure the accuracy and reliability of the HEC readings, 3 training sessions were conducted for the videotape readers. Rereading and verifying randomly selected data ensured the validity of intra- and inter-reader readings.
Results
The most frequent contact items were phones, papers, computer accessories, and furniture surfaces. The contact density (frequency-duration/min) was highest for category II (items occasionally shared by others, 56.8), followed in descending order by category I (items for individual use, 35.9), and category III (public use items, 3.4). Significant differences in contact density were found according to participants’ demographic characteristics.
Conclusion
As mobile phones were the most frequent contact item, regular and strict mobile phone cleansing or disinfection strategies are needed, in addition to preventative measures taken for category II and III items. Avoiding sharing personal items with others, refraining from unnecessary HEC, and maintaining strict hand hygiene are recommended.
Short Communication
Socio-demographic disparities in the eating behaviour of Malaysian children during the COVID-19 lockdown
Sabrina Premila Joseph Louis, Tan Seok Tyug
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2021;12(3):196-199.   Published online May 26, 2021
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2021.0053
  • 3,357 View
  • 106 Download
  • 3 Citations
AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
This cross-sectional study aimed to investigate the eating behaviour of Malaysian children aged 2 to 11 years old during the Movement Control Order (MCO) due to the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.
Methods
A total of 204 Malaysian parents of children aged 2 to 11 years old were recruited for this study using a combination of purposive and snowball sampling approaches. Parents were required to fill an online questionnaire hosted on Google Forms, which consisted of socio-demographic characteristics (including child’s gender, age, and ethnicity, as well as parental income during the MCO) and a 35-item list from the Children’s Eating Behaviour Questionnaire (CEBQ). Data analysis was conducted by further stratifying the children's eating behaviour according to socio-demographic characteristics.
Results
No significant differences were observed in the eating behaviour of the children across age and parental income groups during the MCO. Malaysian Indian children had significantly lower mean scores for the food responsiveness (2.50±0.64) and emotional over-eating (2.13±0.72) subscales than Malaysian Chinese children. Girls had a significantly higher mean score for the slowness in eating subscale during the MCO than boys.
Conclusion
Children’s eating behaviour were comparable across socio-demographic characteristics. Nonetheless, the findings of the current study provide an overview of Malaysian children's eating behaviour during the MCO.

PHRP : Osong Public Health and Research Perspectives