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Brief Report
Isolation and identification of monkeypox virus MPXV-ROK-P1-2022 from the first case in the Republic of Korea
Jin-Won Kim, Minji Lee, Hwachul Shin, Chi-Hwan Choi, Myung-Min Choi, Jee Woong Kim, Hwajung Yi, Cheon-Kwon Yoo, Gi-Eun Rhie
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2022;13(4):308-311.   Published online August 31, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2022.0232
  • 517 View
  • 38 Download
Graphical AbstractGraphical Abstract AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
Monkeypox outbreaks in nonendemic countries have been reported since early May 2022. The first case of monkeypox in the Republic of Korea was confirmed in a patient who traveled to Europe in June 2022, and an attempt was made to isolate and identify the monkeypox virus (MPXV) from the patient’s specimens.
Methods
Clinical specimens from the patient were inoculated in Vero E6 cells. The isolated virus was identified as MPXV by the observation of cytopathic effects on Vero E6 cells, transmission electron microscopy, conventional polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and sequencing of PCR products.
Results
Cytopathic effects were observed in Vero E6 cells that were inoculated with skin lesion swab eluates. After multiple passages from the primary culture, orthopoxvirus morphology was observed using transmission electron microscopy. In addition, both MPXV-specific (F3L and ATI) and orthopoxvirus-specific genes (A39R, B2R, and HA) were confirmed by conventional PCR and Sanger sequencing.
Conclusion
These results indicate the successful isolation and identification of MPXV from the first patient in the Republic of Korea. The isolated virus was named MPXV-ROK-P1-2022.
Original Articles
The role of risk perception, risk communication, and demographic factors in COVID-19 preventive behaviors: an online survey in Iran
Mansour Rezaei, Nader Rajabi Gilan, Ali Almasi, Mehdi Khezeli, Fatemeh Jamshidi Nazar, Zahra Jorjoran Shushtari, Yahya Salimi, Farid Najafi, Neda Sarabi, Shahram Saeidi, Saeid Saeidi
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2022;13(4):282-289.   Published online August 31, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2021.0345
  • 288 View
  • 16 Download
AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
This study investigated preventive behaviors toward coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and related factors in a Kurdish Iranian sample.
Methods
This online survey was conducted among the population aged 18 and above in Kermanshah Province, in western Iran, in April 2020. Samples were invited and recruited through social media. Data were collected using a questionnaire consisting of 4 sections (questions on demographic variables, risk perception, risk communication, and COVID-19 preventive behaviors) and analyzed using Stata ver. 8.
Results
The Pearson correlation test showed that risk communication was significantly correlated with COVID-19 preventive behaviors (r=0.320, p<0.01). In the final model, where the explanatory power increased with the entry of the risk communication variable, the variables explained a total of 14% of variance in COVID-19 preventive behaviors. Sex (β=−0.482), risk perception (β=0.047), and risk communication (β=0.662) were significant determinants.
Conclusion
Risk communication and risk perception related to COVID-19, as well as being a woman, were determinants of COVID-19 preventive behaviors.
Characteristics of COVID-19 outbreaks and risk factors for transmission at an army training center in South Korea from June to August 2021
U Jin Cho, Seongjin Wang, Seonju Yi, Yeon Hwa Choi, Eun-Young Kim, Jin A Kim, Sanghwan Bae, Jungyeon Yu, Jangkyu Choi, Young-Joon Park
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2022;13(4):263-272.   Published online July 27, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2022.0149
  • 608 View
  • 53 Download
AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
It is crucial to establish the characteristics of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreaks at army training centers to develop preventive measures. Therefore, this study aimed to determine the COVID-19 transmission patterns and risk factors in a sequence of outbreaks at an army training center from June to August 2021.
Methods
This study included 1,324 trainees at an army training center where outbreaks occurred from June to August 2021. The outbreak was qualitatively analyzed according to the period, attack rate, demographic characteristics, vaccination history, and living areas. An aerodynamic experiment was performed to evaluate aerosol transmission in living areas.
Results
Three outbreaks occurred at the army training center from June to August 2021. The first, second, and third outbreaks lasted for 32, 17, and 24 days, and the attack rates were 12.8%, 18.1%, and 8.9%, respectively. Confirmed cases were distributed in all age groups. Recruits and the unvaccinated were at higher risk for COVID-19. The aerodynamic experiment verified the possibility of aerosol transmission within the same living area.
Conclusion
COVID-19 transmission at army training centers should be minimized through quarantine and post-admission testing during the latency period as part of integrated measures that include facility ventilation, vaccination, indoor mask-wearing, and social distancing.
Clinical epidemiological applicability of real-time polymerase chain reaction for COVID-19
Geehyuk Kim, Jun-Kyu Kang, Jungho Kim, Jiyoung Lee, Jin Gwack
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2022;13(4):252-262.   Published online July 27, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2022.0135
  • 1,003 View
  • 94 Download
Graphical AbstractGraphical Abstract AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
Real-time polymerase chain reaction is currently used as a confirmatory test for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The test results are interpreted as positive, negative, or inconclusive, and are used only for a qualitative classification of patients. However, the test results can be quantitated using threshold count (Ct) values to determine the amount of virus present in the sample. Therefore, this study investigated the diagnostic usefulness of Ct results through various quantitative analyzes, along with an analysis of clinical and epidemiological characteristics.
Methods
Clinical and epidemiological data from 4,642 COVID-19 patients in April 2021 were analyzed, including the Ct values of the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp), envelope (E), and nucleocapsid (N) genes. Clinical and epidemiological data (sex, age, underlying diseases, and early symptoms) were collected through a structured questionnaire. A correlation analysis was used to examine the relationships between variables.
Results
All 3 genes showed statistically significant relationships with symptoms and severity levels. The Ct values of the RdRp gene decreased as the severity of the patients increased. Moreover, statistical significance was observed for the presence of underlying diseases and dyspnea.
Conclusion
Ct values were found to be related to patients’ clinical and epidemiological characteristics. In particular, since these factors are closely related to symptoms and severity, Ct values can be used as primary data for predicting patients’ disease prognosis despite the limitations of this method. Conducting follow-up studies to validate this approach might enable using the data from this study to establish policies for preventing COVID-19 infection and spread.
Phylogenetic and genome-wide mutational analysis of SARS-CoV-2 strains circulating in Nigeria: no implications for attenuated COVID-19 outcomes
Daniel B. Kolawole, Malachy I. Okeke
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2022;13(2):101-113.   Published online April 22, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2021.0329
  • 1,268 View
  • 45 Download
Graphical AbstractGraphical Abstract AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the causative agent of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The COVID-19 incidence and mortality rates are low in Nigeria compared to global trends. This research mapped the evolution of SARS-CoV-2 circulating in Nigeria and globally to determine whether the Nigerian isolates are genetically distinct from strains circulating in regions of the world with a high disease burden. Methods: Bayesian phylogenetics using BEAST 2.0, genetic similarity analyses, and genomewide mutational analyses were used to characterize the strains of SARS-CoV-2 isolated in Nigeria. Results: SARS-CoV-2 strains isolated in Nigeria showed multiple lineages and possible introductions from Europe and Asia. Phylogenetic clustering and sequence similarity analyses demonstrated that Nigerian isolates were not genetically distinct from strains isolated in other parts of the globe. Mutational analysis demonstrated that the D614G mutation in the spike protein, the P323L mutation in open reading frame 1b (and more specifically in NSP12), and the R203K/ G204R mutation pair in the nucleocapsid protein were most prevalent in the Nigerian isolates. Conclusion: The SARS-CoV-2 strains in Nigeria were neither phylogenetically nor genetically distinct from virus strains circulating in other countries of the world. Thus, differences in SARS-CoV-2 genomes are not a plausible explanation for the attenuated COVID-19 outcomes in Nigeria.
Spatiotemporal analysis of environmental and physiographic factors related to malaria in Bareilly district, India
Shikhar Chaudhary, Biju Soman
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2022;13(2):123-132.   Published online March 31, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2021.0304
  • 1,535 View
  • 62 Download
Graphical AbstractGraphical Abstract AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
The aim of this study was to explore the spatiotemporal clustering of reported malaria cases and to study the effects of various environmental and physiographic factors on malaria incidence in Bareilly district, Uttar Pradesh, India. Methods: Malaria surveillance data were collected from the state health department and cleaned into an analyzable format. These data were analyzed along with meteorological, physiographic, and 2019 population data, which were obtained from the Indian Meteorological Department, National Aeronautics and Space Administration web portal, the Bhuvan platform of the Indian Space Research Organization, and the 2011 Census of India. Results: In total, 46,717 malaria cases were reported in Bareilly district in 2019, of which 25.99% were Plasmodium vivax cases and 74.01% were P. falciparum cases. The reported malaria cases in the district showed clustering, with significant spatial autocorrelation (Moran’s I value=0.63), and space-time clustering (p<0.01). A significant positive correlation was found between monthly malaria incidence and the monthly mean temperature (with a lag of 1−2 months) and rainfall (with a lag of 1 month). A significant negative correlation was detected between the elevation of blocks (i.e., intermediate-level administrative districts) and annual malaria reporting. Conclusion: The presence of space-time clustering of malaria cases and its correlation with meteorological and physiographic factors indicate that routine spatial analysis of the surveillance data could help control and manage malaria outbreaks in the district.
Seroprevalence of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 and predictors of seropositivity among employees of a teaching hospital in New Delhi, India
Pragya Sharma, Rohit Chawla, Ritika Bakshi, Sonal Saxena, Saurav Basu, Pradeep Kumar Bharti, Meera Dhuria, S. K. Singh, Panna Lal
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2021;12(2):88-95.   Published online April 29, 2021
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2021.12.2.06
  • 3,346 View
  • 81 Download
  • 3 Citations
AbstractAbstract PDFSupplementary Material
Objectives
Healthcare workers (HCWs) are at a high risk of contracting severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) due to the increased likelihood of clinical exposure during patient management. The study objective was to determine the seroprevalence of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 and its predictors among hospital employees.
Methods
The cross-sectional study was conducted at a teaching hospital from August 2020 to September 2020 among 1,401 employees, including 1,217 HCWs, in New Delhi, India. The serum samples were examined for immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 using the COVID Kavach-Anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG Antibody Detection enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kit. Data were collected electronically using the EpiCollect mobile platform. A p<0.05 was considered to indicate statistical significance.
Results
A total of 169 participants (12.1%) had detectable IgG antibodies to SARS-CoV-2. The highest seropositivity rate was observed in the administrative staff (20.1%), while it was lowest among medical doctors (5.5%, p<0.001). Male sex and ever having lived in a containment zone were independently associated with past infection with SARS-CoV-2.
Conclusion
The seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in health workers may be lower than in the general population in New Delhi. However, non-pharmaceutical interventions were not associated with a reduction in the risk of acquisition of SARS-CoV-2.
Psychological outcomes of the COVID-19 pandemic among pregnant women in Indonesia: a cross-sectional study
Rahmah Hida Nurrizka, Yuri Nurdiantami, Feda Anisah Makkiyah
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2021;12(2):80-87.   Published online April 29, 2021
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2021.12.2.05
  • 3,650 View
  • 200 Download
  • 1 Citations
AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
The objective of this study was to analyze the psychological outcomes of pregnant women during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in several areas that are epicenters for the spread of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in Indonesia.
Methods
This cross-sectional study used data obtained from an online survey administered to 120 women who were pregnant and gave birth during the COVID-19 pandemic in Indonesia. The psychological condition of pregnant women was measured using the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale-21 questionnaire which was modified for conditions experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic. We classified pregnant women into 2 groups according to their psychological condition: pregnant women who experienced anxiety and pregnant women who did not experience anxiety or felt normal. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis was undertaken for the 2 groups. This study also used univariate analysis and bivariate analysis.
Results
The results of the ROC analysis resulted in a cutoff score of 3.56. The proportion of respondents who felt anxious was 53.3% and the proportion of respondents who did not feel anxious or felt normal was 46.7%. Anxiety was most common among pregnant women with high education levels, gestational age <19 weeks, and working pregnant women.
Conclusion
Maternal health services need to be performed with strict health protocols, complemented by pregnancy counseling services. This will provide a feeling of comfort and safety as pregnant women receive health services and give birth.
Brief Report
Operating a National Hotline in Korea During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Rok Song, Yuh Seog Choi, Jae Young Ko
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2020;11(6):380-382.   Published online December 22, 2020
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2020.11.6.06
  • 3,631 View
  • 79 Download
  • 3 Citations
AbstractAbstract PDF

The importance of effective communication cannot be overestimated during a pandemic. The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency national 1339 hotline has been in operation since the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus outbreak in 2016. The hotline is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, and provides accurate, reliable information based upon the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency guidelines in response to queries. During the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the 1339 hotline received callers’ questions about symptoms and the implications of their actions regarding the epidemic. Through the 1339 hotline, callers received the up-to-date information that enabled them to protect themselves as well as others from COVID-19. This public service may have influenced on reduced risk of virus transmission in Korea.

Original Articles
Use, Awareness, Knowledge and Beliefs of Medication During Pregnancy in Malaysia
Ahmad Habeeb Hattab Dala Ali Alani, Bassam Abdul Rasool Hassan, Azyyati Mohd Suhaimi, Ali Haider Mohammed
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2020;11(6):373-379.   Published online December 22, 2020
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2020.11.6.05
  • 4,190 View
  • 160 Download
  • 2 Citations
AbstractAbstract PDFSupplementary Material
Objectives

This study aimed to assess medication use in pregnant women in Malaysia by measuring use, knowledge, awareness, and beliefs about medications.

Methods

This was an observational, cross-sectional study involving a total of 447 pregnant women who attended the Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinic, Hospital Kuala Lumpur (HKL), Malaysia. A validated, self-administered questionnaire was used to collect participant data.

Results

Most of pregnant women had taken medication during pregnancy and more than half of them (52.8%) showed a poor level of knowledge about the medication use during pregnancy. Eighty-three percent had a poor level of awareness and 56.5% had negative beliefs. Age and education level were significantly associated with the level of knowledge regarding medication use during pregnancy. Multiparous pregnant women, and pregnant women from rural areas were observed to have a higher level of awareness compared with those who lived in urban areas. Use of medication during pregnancy was determined to be significantly associated with education level, and race.

Conclusion

Although there was prevalent use of medication among pregnant women, many had negative beliefs, and insufficient knowledge and awareness about the risks of taking medication during pregnancy. Several sociodemographic characteristics were significantly associated with the use (race and education level), level of knowledge (age and education level), awareness (parity and place of residence), and beliefs (race, education level, and occupation status) towards medication use during pregnancy.

Relationship Between Assertion and Aggression with Addiction Potential: A Cross-Sectional Study in 2019
Mohammad Amiri, Zakieh Sadeghi, Elham Sadeghi, Ahmad Khosravi
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2020;11(4):231-238.   Published online August 31, 2020
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2020.11.4.12
  • 3,651 View
  • 69 Download
  • 3 Citations
AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives

This study aimed to determine the relationship between assertion and aggression with addiction potential among students in Shahroud University of Medical Sciences.

Methods

In this cross-sectional study conducted in 2019, 500 students of Shahroud University of Medical Sciences, were selected by multistage random sampling, for a study using the Addiction Potential Scale, and Assertion and Aggression Questionnaires. Data were analyzed using ANOVA, Chi-square, t test, Pearson’s correlation coefficient, and the linear regression model.

Results

The mean scores of addiction potential, aggression, and assertion were 32.7 ± 17.2, 41.5 ± 12.9 and 139.4 ± 22.3, respectively. In this study, 38.8% (N = 194) of students had high aggression and 76.8% (N = 384) had high assertion. In the regression model, aggression, history of drug and addictive substances abuse, history of tobacco use, and history of alcohol abuse were significantly related to addiction potential (p ≤ 0.05). There was a negative relationship between assertion and addiction potential so that with one-unit increase in the assertion score, the addiction potential score decreased by −0.11.

Conclusion

Given the direct relationship between aggression and addiction potential, and since more than three-quarters of the students had moderate to high aggression, it is necessary to pay more attention to this issue. Interventions may play an important role in improving the current situation.

Predictors Affecting the Elderly’s Use of Emergency Medical Services
Ju Moon Park, Aeree Sohn
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2020;11(4):209-215.   Published online August 31, 2020
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2020.11.4.10
  • 2,913 View
  • 58 Download
AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives

Elderly adults are the demographic most likely to utilize emergency medical services (EMS). This study aimed to examine the difference in EMS utilization in subgroups of the elderly population by assessing the predictors for using EMS.

Methods

Using both descriptive and logistic regression analyses, this study analyses data from the 2014 Korean Health Panel Survey (n = 3,175).

Results

It was observed that certain predisposing factors such as age, sex, and marital status were significant predictors of EMS utilization. However, differences in EMS need do not fully account for the original differences observed between subgroups of elderly Koreans. While health status and disability were important predictors of elderly Koreans using EMS, place of residence did not account for subgroup differences. Nonetheless, place of residence remained particularly important predictors of EMS utilization for the elderly.

Conclusion

Emergency needs and resource availability are 2 main determinants for elderly Koreans using EMS. In addition, it was observed that the demographic subgroup profile of unmarried/divorced/separated/widowed men who were aged 75 and older was least likely to utilize EMS. Improving their resource availability to meet their EMS needs should be a top priority for national policy making to narrow elderly population subgroup differences.

Educational Needs Associated with the Level of Complication and Comparative Risk Perceptions in People with Type 2 Diabetes
Youngji Hwang, Dongsuk Lee, Yeon Sook Kim
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2020;11(4):170-176.   Published online August 31, 2020
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2020.11.4.05
  • 3,234 View
  • 140 Download
AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives

This study aimed to identify the educational needs of people with type 2 diabetes according to risk perceptions and the level of severity of complications.

Methods

There were 177 study participants who were outpatients of the internal medicine department at a university hospital located in the Republic of Korea, who consented to participate in the survey from December 10, 2016 to February 10, 2017. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, Pearson correlation, ANOVA with post-hoc comparison, and multiple regression analysis. Type 2 diabetes complications were classified into 3 groups: no complications, common complications, and severe complications.

Results

There were statistically significant positive correlations between educational needs and comparative risk perceptions, and the level of complication and comparative risk perception. Multiple regression analysis revealed that the factor predicting educational needs of type 2 diabetes people was their comparative risk perceptions, rather than the severity of diabetes complications or sociodemographic variables.

Conclusion

Since risk perception is the factor that indicates the educational needs of people with type 2 diabetes, there is a need to explore factors which increase risk perception, in order to meet educational needs. The findings suggest that a more specific and individualized educational program, which focuses on each person's risk perceptions, should be developed.

Short Communication
Contact Transmission of COVID-19 in South Korea: Novel Investigation Techniques for Tracing Contacts
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2020;11(1):60-63.   Published online February 28, 2020
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2020.11.1.09
  • 37,377 View
  • 1,016 Download
  • 103 Citations
AbstractAbstract PDF

In the epidemiological investigation of an infectious disease, investigating, classifying, tracking, and managing contacts by identifying the patient’s route are important for preventing further transmission of the disease. However, omissions and errors in previous activities can occur when the investigation is performed through only a proxy interview with the patient. To overcome these limitations, methods that can objectively verify the patient’s claims (medical facility records, Global Positioning System, card transactions, and closed-circuit television) were used for the recent ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 contact investigations in South Korea.

Original Article
The Effects of Laughter Therapy for the Relief of Employment-Stress in Korean Student Nurses by Assessing Psychological Stress Salivary Cortisol and Subjective Happiness
Ji-Soo Lee, Soo-Kyoung Lee
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2020;11(1):44-52.   Published online February 28, 2020
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2020.11.1.07
  • 4,984 View
  • 129 Download
  • 5 Citations
AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives

Korean student nurses may be exposed to stress caused by their future employment (employment stress). The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of a Laughter Program on psychological stress, by assessing salivary cortisol and the subjective happiness of student nurses in order to relieve employment stress.

Methods

A quasi-experimental, non-equivalent, control-group, and pre-test/post-test was conducted in 4th year student nurses (n = 48) from 2 universities in Korea at a time when participants’ final exams and job searches were simultaneously occurring. Physiological stress (salivary cortisol), and psychological stress measured using modified Cornell Medical Index questionnaire and the Subjective Happiness Scale were used to determine the effects of the program.

Results

The results of the study showed that the Laughter Program was effective in relieving employment stress and increasing the subjective well-being of student nurses. Psychological stress (p < 0.001), salivary cortisol levels (p < 0.001), and subjective happiness (p < 0.001) were statistically significantly improved after the intervention compared with before the Laughter Program.

Conclusion

This study is an effective evidence-based intervention to reduce student nurses employment stress and improve subjective happiness.


PHRP : Osong Public Health and Research Perspectives