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Original Article
Prevalence and patterns of post-COVID-19 symptoms in certain recovered patients of Delhi, India: a population-based study
Nidhi Bhatnagar, Mongjam Meghachandra Singh, Hitakshi Sharma, Suruchi Mishra, Gurmeet Singh, Shivani Rao, Amod Borle, Tanu Anand, Naresh Kumar, Binita Goswami, Sarika Singh, Mahima Kapoor, Sumeet Singla, Bembem Khuraijam, Nita Khurana, Urvi Sharma, Suneela Garg
Received September 14, 2023  Accepted March 6, 2024  Published online May 17, 2024  
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2023.0251    [Epub ahead of print]
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AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
Post-coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) symptoms were widely reported.However, data on post-COVID-19 conditions following infection with the Omicron variant remained scarce. This prospective study was conducted to understand the prevalence, patterns, and duration of symptoms in patients who had recovered from COVID-19.
Methods
A prospective study was conducted across 11 districts of Delhi, India, among individuals who had recovered from COVID-19. Study participants were enrolled, and then returned for post-recovery follow-up at 3 months and 6 months interval.
Results
The mean age of study participants was 42.07 years, with a standard deviation of 14.89 years. The majority of the participants (79.7%) reported experiencing post-COVID-19 symptoms. The most common symptoms included joint pain (36%), persistent dry cough (35.7%), anxiety (28.4%), and shortness of breath (27.1%). Other symptoms were persistent fatigue (21.6%), persistent headache (20%), forgetfulness (19.7%), and limb weakness (18.6%). The longest duration of symptom was observed to be anxiety (138.75±54.14 days), followed by fatigue (137.57±48.33 days), shortness of breath (131.89±60.21 days), and joint pain/swelling (131.59±58.76 days). At the first follow-up visit, 2.2% of participants presented with abnormal electrocardiogram readings, but no abnormalities were noticed during the second follow-up. Additionally, 4.06% of participants exhibited abnormal chest X-ray findings at the first follow-up, which decreased to 2.16% by the second visit.
Conclusion
The most frequently reported post-COVID-19 symptoms were joint pain, dry cough, anxiety and shortness of breath. These clinical symptoms persisted for up to 6 months, with evidence of multi-system involvement. Consequently, findings highlighted the need for long-term follow-up during the post-COVID-19 period.
Special Article
The COVID-19 Vaccine Safety Research Center: a cornerstone for strengthening safety evidence for COVID-19 vaccination in the Republic of Korea
Na-Young Jeong, Hyesook Park, Sanghoon Oh, Seung Eun Jung, Dong-Hyun Kim, Hyoung-Shik Shin, Hee Chul Han, Jong-Koo Lee, Jun Hee Woo, Jaehun Jung, Joongyub Lee, Ju-Young Shin, Sun-Young Jung, Byung-Joo Park, Nam-Kyong Choi
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2024;15(2):97-106.   Published online April 4, 2024
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2023.0343
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  • 73 Download
  • 1 Web of Science
Graphical AbstractGraphical Abstract AbstractAbstract PDF
The COVID-19 Vaccine Safety Research Committee (CoVaSC) was established in November 2021 to address the growing need for independent, in-depth scientific evidence on adverse events (AEs) following coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination. This initiative was requested by the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency and led by the National Academy of Medicine of Korea. In September 2022, the COVID-19 Vaccine Safety Research Center was established, strengthening CoVaSC’s initiatives. The center has conducted various studies on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines. During CoVaSC’s second research year, from September 29, 2022 to July 19, 2023, the center was restructured into 4 departments: Epidemiological Research, Clinical Research, Communication & Education, and International Cooperation & Policy Research. Its main activities include (1) managing CoVaSC and the COVID-19 Vaccine Safety Research Center, (2) surveying domestic and international trends in AE causality investigation, (3) assessing AEs following COVID-19 vaccination, (4) fostering international collaboration and policy research, and (5) organizing regular fora and training sessions for the public and clinicians. Causality assessments have been conducted for 27 diseases, and independent research has been conducted after organizing ad hoc committees comprising both epidemiologists and clinical experts on each AE of interest. The research process included protocol development, data analysis, interpretation of results, and causality assessment. These research outcomes have been shared transparently with the public and healthcare experts through various fora. The COVID-19 Vaccine Safety Research Center plans to continue strengthening and expanding its research activities to provide reliable, high-quality safety information to the public.
Review Article
Psychiatric adverse events associated with the COVID-19 vaccines approved in the Republic of Korea: a systematic review
Seungeun Ryoo, Miyoung Choi, Nam-Kyong Choi, Hyoung-Shik Shin, Jun Hee Woo, Byung-Joo Park, Sanghoon Oh
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2024;15(2):107-114.   Published online March 28, 2024
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2023.0325
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Graphical AbstractGraphical Abstract AbstractAbstract PDF
This systematic review evaluated psychiatric adverse events (AEs) following vaccination against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). We included studies that reported or investigated psychiatric AEs in individuals who had received an approved COVID-19 vaccine in the Republic of Korea. Systematic electronic searches of Ovid-Medline, Embase, CENTRAL, and KoreaMed databases were conducted on March 22, 2023. Risk of bias was assessed using the Risk of Bias Assessment Tool for Non-randomized Studies 2.0. The study protocol was registered in the International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews (CRD42023449422). Of the 301 articles initially selected, 7 were included in the final analysis. All studies reported on sleep disturbances, and 2 highlighted anxiety-related AEs. Sleep disorders like insomnia and narcolepsy were the most prevalent AEs, while depression was not reported. Our review suggests that these AEs may have been influenced by biological mechanisms as well as the broader psychosocial context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although this study had limitations, such as a primary focus on the BNT162b2 vaccine and an observational study design, it offered a systematic, multi-vaccine analysis that fills a critical gap in the existing literature. This review underscores the need for continued surveillance of psychiatric AEs and guides future research to investigate underlying mechanisms, identify risk factors, and inform clinical management.
Original Articles
Effect of Paxlovid in COVID-19 treatment during the periods of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron BA.5 and BN.1 subvariant dominance in the Republic of Korea: a retrospective cohort study
Dong-Hwi Kim, Min-Gyu Yoo, Na-Young Kim, So Young Choi, Minjeong Jang, Misuk An, Se-Jin Jeong, Jungyeon Kim
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2024;15(2):137-149.   Published online March 28, 2024
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2023.0230
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  • 43 Download
Graphical AbstractGraphical Abstract AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
This study was conducted to assess the efficacy of nirmatrelvir/ritonavir treatment in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), particularly those aged 60 years and older. Using real-world data, the period during which the BN.1 Omicron variant was dominant was compared to the period dominated by the BA.5 variant. Methods: In this retrospective cohort study, data were collected regarding 2,665,281 patients infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 between July 24, 2022, and March 31, 2023. Propensity score matching was utilized to match patients who received nirmatrelvir/ ritonavir in a 1:4 ratio between BN.1 and BA.5 variant groups. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was employed to assess the effects of nirmatrelvir/ritonavir within these groups. Results: Compared to the prior period, the efficacy of nirmatrelvir/ritonavir did not significantly differ during the interval of Omicron BN.1 variant dominance in the Republic of Korea. Among patients treated with nirmatrelvir/ritonavir, a significantly lower risk of mortality was observed in the BN.1 group (odds ratio [OR], 0.698; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.557–0.875) compared to the BA.5 group. However, this treatment did not significantly reduce the risk of severe or critical illness, including death, for those in the BN.1 group (OR, 0.856; 95% CI, 0.728–1.007). Conclusion: Nirmatrelvir/ritonavir has maintained its effectiveness against COVID-19, even with the emergence of the BN.1 Omicron subvariant. Consequently, we strongly recommend the administration of nirmatrelvir/ritonavir to patients exhibiting COVID-19-related symptoms, irrespective of the dominant Omicron variant or their vaccination status, to mitigate disease severity and decrease the risk of mortality.
COVID-19 infection among people with disabilities in 2021 prior to the Omicron-dominant period in the Republic of Korea: a cross-sectional study
Seul-Ki Kang, Bryan Inho Kim
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2024;15(2):150-158.   Published online March 28, 2024
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2023.0194
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Graphical AbstractGraphical Abstract AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
This study investigated the characteristics of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) among individuals with disabilities on a nationwide scale in the Republic of Korea, as limited research has examined this population. Methods: Between January 1 and November 30, 2021, a total of 5,687 confirmed COVID-19 cases among individuals with disabilities were reported through the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency’s COVID-19 web reporting system. Follow-up continued until December 24, and demographic, epidemiological, and clinical characteristics were analyzed. Results: Individuals with disabilities represented approximately 1.5% of confirmed cases, with a mean age of 58.1 years. Most resided in or near metropolitan areas (86.6%) and were male (60.6%). Frequent sources of infection included home (33.4%) and contact with confirmed cases (40.7%). Many individuals (75.9%) had underlying conditions, and 7.7% of cases were severe. People with disabilities showed significantly elevated risk of severe infection (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.63; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.47–1.81) and mortality (aOR, 1.65; 95% CI, 1.43–1.91). Vaccination against COVID-19 was associated with significantly lower risk of severe infection (aORs for the first, second, and third doses: 0.60 [95% CI, 0.42–0.85], 0.28 [95% CI, 0.22–0.35], and 0.16 [95% CI, 0.05–0.51], respectively) and death (adjusted hazard ratios for the first and second doses: 0.57 [95% CI, 0.35–0.93] and 0.30 [95% CI, 0.23–0.40], respectively). Conclusion: Individuals with disabilities showed higher risk of severe infection and mortality from COVID-19. Consequently, it is critical to strengthen COVID-19 vaccination initiatives and provide socioeconomic assistance for this vulnerable population.
Impact of long COVID-19 on posttraumatic stress disorder as modified by health literacy: an observational study in Vietnam
Han Thi Vo, Tien Duc Dao, Tuyen Van Duong, Tan Thanh Nguyen, Binh Nhu Do, Tinh Xuan Do, Khue Minh Pham, Vinh Hai Vu, Linh Van Pham, Lien Thi Hong Nguyen, Lan Thi Huong Le, Hoang Cong Nguyen, Nga Hoang Dang, Trung Huu Nguyen, Anh The Nguyen, Hoan Van Nguyen, Phuoc Ba Nguyen, Hoai Thi Thanh Nguyen, Thu Thi Minh Pham, Thuy Thi Le, Thao Thi Phuong Nguyen, Cuong Quoc Tran, Kien Trung Nguyen
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2024;15(1):33-44.   Published online February 19, 2024
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2023.0261
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Graphical AbstractGraphical Abstract AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
The prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has increased, particularly among individuals who have recovered from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection. Health literacy is considered a “social vaccine” that helps people respond effectively to the pandemic. We aimed to investigate the association between long COVID-19 and PTSD, and to examine the modifying role of health literacy in this association. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted at 18 hospitals and health centers in Vietnam from December 2021 to October 2022. We recruited 4,463 individuals who had recovered from COVID-19 infection for at least 4 weeks. Participants provided information about their sociodemographics, clinical parameters, health-related behaviors, health literacy (using the 12-item short-form health literacy scale), long COVID-19 symptoms and PTSD (Impact Event Scale-Revised score of 33 or higher). Logistic regression models were used to examine associations and interactions. Results: Out of the study sample, 55.9% had long COVID-19 symptoms, and 49.6% had PTSD. Individuals with long COVID-19 symptoms had a higher likelihood of PTSD (odds ratio [OR], 1.86; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.63–2.12; p<0.001). Higher health literacy was associated with a lower likelihood of PTSD (OR, 0.98; 95% CI, 0.97–0.99; p=0.001). Compared to those without long COVID-19 symptoms and the lowest health literacy score, those with long COVID-19 symptoms and a 1-point health literacy increment had a 3% lower likelihood of PTSD (OR, 0.97; 95% CI, 0.96–0.99; p=0.001). Conclusion: Health literacy was found to be a protective factor against PTSD and modified the negative impact of long COVID-19 symptoms on PTSD.
Short Communication
Characteristics of a large outbreak arising from a school field trip after COVID-19 restrictions were eased in 2022
Sueng-Jin Kim, Eun-Young Kim, Jeonghee Yu
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2024;15(1):83-89.   Published online February 5, 2024
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2023.0264
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Graphical AbstractGraphical Abstract AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
This study analyzed a large outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) that occurred during a high school field trip in the Jeonbuk region and aimed to identify risk factors for COVID-19 infection, with the goal of preventing such outbreaks in the future. Methods: A retrospective cohort study of 737 participants, including 668 students and 69 staff at High School A, was designed to describe the epidemiological characteristics of this large COVID-19 outbreak. Logistic regression analysis was performed to calculate relative risks (odds ratios [ORs]) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Results: There were 190 confirmed cases (174 students, 16 staff), with an attack rate of 25.8%. Small outbreaks were decreasing before the field trip, but this trend reversed after the trip, leading to larger outbreaks. Logistic regression showed an OR of 2.39 (95% CI, 1.66–3.43; p<0.05) for COVID-19 infection among field trip participants. Among them, 11th graders had an OR of 2.32 (95% CI, 1.53–3.52; p<0.05) compared to 10th graders, while no significant risk difference was found within same-grade teams. Conclusion: There was a high risk for COVID-19 transmission during extracurricular activities with a large number of participants, such as field trips, even after the nationwide Omicron variant epidemic subsided. Even when students are separated into teams and follow different routes, it is challenging to design routes that entirely prevent contact between teams. Thus, programs should be designed carefully, and students with symptoms should be identified before and during the program to isolate them promptly.
Original Articles
Characteristics and related factors of waterborne and foodborne infectious disease outbreaks before and after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic (2017–2021) in the Republic of Korea: a descriptive study
Eunkyoung Kim, Bryan Inho Kim
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2023;14(6):483-493.   Published online December 14, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2023.0221
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Graphical AbstractGraphical Abstract AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
The incidence of waterborne and foodborne infectious diseases (WFIDs) continues to increase annually, attracting significant global attention. This study examined trends in WFID outbreaks in the Republic of Korea over the 5-year period before and during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and provided foundational data to establish measures for the prevention and control of WFID outbreaks. Methods: We analyzed 2,541 WFID outbreaks from 2017 to 2021 (42,805 cases) that were reported through the Integrated Disease Surveillance System of the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency. Outbreaks were defined as the occurrence of gastrointestinal symptoms in ≥2 individuals within a group with temporal and regional epidemiological associations. The related factors associated with WFID outbreaks during the observation period were statistically analyzed. Results: The total number of WFID outbreaks significantly decreased in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic and increased to the pre-pandemic level in 2021. Different patterns were observed for each pathogen. The incidence of Salmonella outbreaks more than doubled, while norovirus outbreaks decreased significantly. Conclusion: WFID outbreaks in the Republic of Korea showed different patterns before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, influenced by infection control measures and changes in dietary consumption patterns. Outbreaks of some diseases increased, but the infection control measures applied during the pandemic resulted in a significant decrease in the overall number of WFID outbreaks. This highlights the importance of strengthening the management strategies for outbreak prevention through hygiene inspections, long-term monitoring, education, and promotion by conducting multidimensional analyses to understand the complex related factors.
Factors affecting depression and health-related quality of life in the elderly during the COVID-19 pandemic
Deok-Ju Kim
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2023;14(6):520-529.   Published online November 16, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2023.0166
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Graphical AbstractGraphical Abstract AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
This study investigated changes in the health behaviors of the elderly due to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), concerns due to COVID-19, depression, and healthrelated quality of life (HRQOL), and aimed to identify factors that affect depression and HRQOL in the elderly. Methods: This study was conducted using data from the 2021 Community Health Survey of the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency. From a total sample size of 229,242 individuals, 74,376 elderly people aged 65 or older were selected as subjects, and changes in health behaviors, concerns due to COVID-19, depression, and HRQOL were measured and analyzed. Results: The level of depression associated with sleep and fatigue was high. The lowest HRQOL was related to physical pain and discomfort, while the most common concerns were related to economic difficulties. Factors influencing depression included worries about infection and economic harm, while factors impacting HRQOL encompassed concerns about infection, economic harm, and criticism from others. Conclusion: If an infectious disease situation such as COVID-19 reoccurs in the future, it will be necessary to encourage participation in hybrid online and offline programs at senior welfare centers. This should also extend to community counseling institutions like mental health welfare centers. Additionally, establishing connections with stable senior job projects can help to mitigate the effects of social interaction restrictions, physical and psychological health issues, and economic difficulties experienced by the elderly.
Evaluation of COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness in different high-risk facility types during a period of Delta variant dominance in the Republic of Korea: a cross-sectional study
Min Jei Lee, Myung-Jae Hwang, Dong Seob Kim, Seon Kyeong Park, Jihyun Choi, Ji Joo Lee, Jong Mu Kim, Young-Man Kim, Young-Joon Park, Jin Gwack, Sang-Eun Lee
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2023;14(5):418-426.   Published online October 19, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2023.0188
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Graphical AbstractGraphical Abstract AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
We evaluated the effectiveness of coronavirus disease 2019 vaccination in high-risk facilities in the Republic of Korea during the period when the highly transmissible Delta variant was prevalent. Additionally, we aimed to explore any disparities in vaccine effectiveness (VE) across various types of institutions, specifically distinguishing between non-medical and medical establishments. Methods: We examined 8 outbreak clusters covering 243 cases and 895 contacts from 8 high-risk facilities divided into 2 groups: group A (4 non-medical institutions) and group B (4 medical institutions). These clusters were observed from July 27, 2021 to October 16, 2021 for the attack rate (AR) and VE with respect to disease severity. A generalized linear model with a binomial distribution was used to determine the odds ratio (OR) for disease severity and death. Results: AR was notably lower in group B (medical institutions). Furthermore, VE analysis revealed that group A exhibited higher effectivity for disease severity and death than group B. The OR for disease severity was 0.24 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.03–2.16) for group A and 0.27 (95% CI, 0.12–0.64) for group B, with the OR for death at 0.12 (95% CI, 0.01–1.32) in group A and 0.34 (95% CI, 0.14–0.87) in group B. Conclusion: Although VE may vary across institutions, our findings underscore the importance of implementing vaccinations in high-risk facilities. Customized vaccination programs, tailored response plans, and competent management personnel are essential for effectively addressing and mitigating public health challenges.
Estimating the prevalence of oral manifestations in COVID-19 patients: a systematic review
Ankita Gupta, Kriti Shrivastav, Amit Agrawal, Abhishek Purohit, Roshan Chanchlani
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2023;14(5):388-417.   Published online September 19, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2023.0033
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Graphical AbstractGraphical Abstract AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
Patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) present with a variety of oral manifestations. Therefore, we conducted a systematic review to estimate the prevalence of oral lesions among COVID-19 patients. Methods: An extensive literature search of several electronic bibliographic databases (PubMed, Scopus, Science Direct, Litcovid) was conducted to retrieve all articles published in the English language from January 1, 2020 to March 31, 2023 that reported the prevalence of oral manifestations among COVID-19 patients. A meta-analysis of pooled prevalence was performed using Jamovi ver. 2.3 (2022). The I2 and Q statistics were used to assess heterogeneity between studies, and p-values <0.01 were considered statistically significant. Results: In total, 79 studies with data from 13,252 patients were included. The articles were predominantly published in 2020 (n=33), and Italy was the most common country (n=14). Most of the affected patients more than 50 years old and women (56.6%). The most common sites of involvement were the tongue (n=65), followed by the oral mucosa (n=37) and lips (n=19). High heterogeneity was found between studies. The most common oral manifestation was taste alteration, followed by xerostomia and ulceration, showing pooled prevalence rates of 48%, 35%, and 21%, respectively. Conclusion: COVID-19 patients show various oral manifestations that may help clinicians identify the disease promptly. Recognition of the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 is critical for an early diagnosis and better prognosis.
Household secondary attack rates and risk factors during periods of SARS-CoV-2 Delta and Omicron variant predominance in the Republic of Korea
Jin Lee, Mijeong Ko, Seontae Kim, Dosang Lim, Gemma Park, Sang-Eun Lee
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2023;14(4):263-271.   Published online August 11, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2023.0133
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Graphical AbstractGraphical Abstract AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
The household secondary attack rate (SAR) of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is an important indicator for community transmission. This study aimed to characterize transmission by comparing household SARs and identifying risk factors during the periods of Delta and Omicron variant predominance in Republic of Korea.
Methods
We defined the period of Delta variant predominance (Delta period) as July 25, 2021 to January 15, 2022, and the period of Omicron variant predominance (Omicron period) as February 7 to September 3, 2022. The number of index cases included was 214,229 for the Delta period and 5,521,393 for the Omicron period. To identify the household SARs and risk factors for each period, logistic regression was performed to determine the adjusted odds ratio (aOR).
Results
The SAR was 35.2% for the Delta period and 43.1% for the Omicron period. The aOR of infection was higher in 2 groups, those aged 0 to 18 years and ≥75 years, compared to those aged 19 to 49 years. Unvaccinated individuals (vs. vaccinated individuals) and individuals experiencing initial infection (vs. individuals experiencing a second or third infection) had an increased risk of infection with SARS-CoV-2.
Conclusion
This study analyzed the household SARs and risk factors. We hope that the results can help develop age-specific immunization plans and responses to reduce the SAR in preparation for emerging infectious diseases or potential new variants of SARS-CoV-2.
Risk factors for transmission in a COVID-19 cluster infection in a high school in the Republic of Korea
Jin-Hwan Jeon, Su Jin Kang, Se-Jin Jeong, Hyeon-Cheol Jang, Young-Joon Park, Sang-Eun Lee
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2023;14(4):252-262.   Published online July 27, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2023.0125
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  • 1 Web of Science
  • 1 Crossref
Graphical AbstractGraphical Abstract AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
This study aimed to examine the scale, characteristics, risk factors, and modes of transmission in a coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak at a high school in Seoul, Republic of Korea.
Methods
An epidemiological survey was conducted of 1,118 confirmed cases and close contacts from a COVID-19 outbreak at an educational facility starting on May 31, 2021. In-depth interviews, online questionnaires, flow evaluations, and CCTV analyses were used to devise infection prevention measures. Behavioral and spatial risk factors were identified, and statistical significance was tested.
Results
Among 3rd-year students, there were 33 confirmed COVID-19 cases (9.6%). Students who used a study room in the annex building showed a statistically significant 4.3-fold elevation in their relative risk for infection compared to those who did not use the study room. Moreover, CCTV facial recognition analysis confirmed that 17.8% of 3rd-year students did not wear masks and had the lowest percentage of mask-wearers by grade. The air epidemiological survey conducted in the study room in the annex, which met the 3 criteria for a closed space, confirmed that there was only 10% natural ventilation due to the poor ventilation system.
Conclusion
To prevent and manage the spread of COVID-19 in educational facilities, advance measures that consider the size, operation, and resources of each school are crucial. In addition, various survey methodologies should be used in future studies to quickly analyze a wider range of data that can inform an evidence-based quarantine response.

Citations

Citations to this article as recorded by  
  • Detection of a cluster of Omicron's BA.4 sublineage in Northern Senegal and identification of the first XAS recombinant variant in Senegal
    Martin Faye, Modeste Name Faye, Babacar Ndiaye, Moussa Moïse Diagne, Safietou Sankhe, Ndeye Marième Top, Amadou Diallo, Cheikh Loucoubar, Ndongo Dia, Amadou Alpha Sall, Ousmane Faye
    Virus Research.2024; 339: 199259.     CrossRef
Estimating the number of severe COVID-19 cases and COVID-19-related deaths averted by a nationwide vaccination campaign in Republic of Korea
Ji Hae Hwang, Ju Hee Lee, Eun Jung Jang, Ryu Kyung Kim, Kil Hun Lee, Seon Kyeong Park, Sang Eun Lee, Chungman Chae, Sangwon Lee, Young Joon Park
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2023;14(3):164-172.   Published online June 22, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2023.0096
  • 2,029 View
  • 124 Download
  • 2 Web of Science
  • 2 Crossref
Graphical AbstractGraphical Abstract AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency promotes vaccination by regularly providing information on its benefits for reducing the severity of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This study aimed to analyze the number of averted severe COVID-19 cases and COVID-19-related deaths by age group and quantify the impact of Republic of Korea’s nationwide vaccination campaign.
Methods
We analyzed an integrated database from the beginning of the vaccination campaign on February 26, 2021 to October 15, 2022. We estimated the cumulative number of severe cases and COVID-19-related deaths over time by comparing observed and estimated cases among unvaccinated and vaccinated groups using statistical modeling. We compared daily age-adjusted rates of severe cases and deaths in the unvaccinated group to those in the vaccinated group and calculated the susceptible population and proportion of vaccinated people by age.
Results
There were 23,793 severe cases and 25,441 deaths related to COVID-19. We estimated that 119,579 (95% confidence interval [CI], 118,901–120,257) severe COVID-19 cases and 137,636 (95% CI, 136,909–138,363) COVID-19-related deaths would have occurred if vaccination had not been performed. Therefore, 95,786 (95% CI, 94,659–96,913) severe cases and 112,195 (95% CI, 110,870–113,520) deaths were prevented as a result of the vaccination campaign.
Conclusion
We found that, if the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination campaign had not been implemented, the number of severe cases and deaths would have been at least 4 times higher. These findings suggest that Republic of Korea’s nationwide vaccination campaign reduced the number of severe cases and COVID-19 deaths.

Citations

Citations to this article as recorded by  
  • Assessing the determinants of influenza and COVID-19 vaccine co-administration decisions in the elderly
    Seunghyun Lewis Kwon, So-Yeon Kim, Minju Song, Hyung-Min Lee, Seon-Hwa Ban, Mi-Soon Lee, Hyesun Jeong
    Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics.2024;[Epub]     CrossRef
  • Comparative Effectiveness of COVID-19 Bivalent Versus Monovalent mRNA Vaccines in the Early Stage of Bivalent Vaccination in Korea: October 2022 to January 2023
    Ryu Kyung Kim, Young June Choe, Eun Jung Jang, Chungman Chae, Ji Hae Hwang, Kil Hun Lee, Ji Ae Shim, Geun-Yong Kwon, Jae Young Lee, Young-Joon Park, Sang Won Lee, Donghyok Kwon
    Journal of Korean Medical Science.2023;[Epub]     CrossRef
Brief Report
Temporal association between the age-specific incidence of Guillain-Barré syndrome and SARS-CoV-2 vaccination in Republic of Korea: a nationwide time-series correlation study
Hyunju Lee, Donghyok Kwon, Seoncheol Park, Seung Ri Park, Darda Chung, Jongmok Ha
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2023;14(3):224-231.   Published online June 22, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2023.0050
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  • 2 Web of Science
  • 2 Crossref
Graphical AbstractGraphical Abstract AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
The incidence of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) changed significantly during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Emerging reports suggest that viral vector-based vaccines may be associated with an elevated risk of GBS.
Methods
In this nationwide time-series correlation study, we examined the age-specific incidence of GBS from January 2011 to August 2022, as well as data on severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccinations and infections from February 2021 to August 2022. We compared the forecasted estimates of age-specific GBS incidence, using the pre-SARS-CoV-2 period as a benchmark, with the actual incidence observed during the post-vaccination period of the pandemic. Furthermore, we assessed the temporal association between GBS, SARS-CoV-2 vaccinations, and COVID-19 for different age groups.
Results
In the age group of 60 and older, the rate ratio was significantly elevated during June-August and November 2021. A significant, strong positive association was observed between viral vector-based vaccines and GBS incidence trends in this age group (r=0.52, p=0.022). For the 30 to 59 years age group, the rate ratio was notably high in September 2021. A statistically significant, strong positive association was found between mRNA-based vaccines and GBS incidence in this age group (r=0.61, p=0.006).
Conclusion
Viral vector-based SARS-CoV-2 vaccines were found to be temporally associated with an increased risk of GBS, particularly in older adults. To minimize age-specific and biological mechanism-specific adverse events, future vaccination campaigns should adopt a more personalized approach, such as recommending homologous mRNA-based SARS-CoV-2 vaccines for older adults to reduce the heightened risk of GBS.

Citations

Citations to this article as recorded by  
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