Special Issue "2nd Edition of Health Emergency and Disaster Risk Management (Health-EDRM)"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Emily Ying Yang Chan
Website
Guest Editor
Assistant Dean, JC School of Public Health and Primary Care, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
Interests: health emergency and disaster risk management; climate change and health; humanitarian medicine; disaster public health; complex interventions; case studies
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Holly Ching Yu Lam
Website
Guest Editor
Genomic and Environmental Medicine, National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, London SW7 2AZ, UK
Interests: environmental epidemiology; public health; climate change and health
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues,

Disasters such as earthquakes, cyclones, floods, heat waves, nuclear accidents, and large scale pollution incidents take lives and incur very large health problems. The majority of large-scale disasters affect the most vulnerable populations, which are often comprised of extreme ages, remote living areas, and endemic poverty, as well as people with low literacy. Health emergency disaster risk management (Health-EDRM) [1] refers to the systematic analysis and management of health risks surrounding emergencies and disasters, and plays an important role in reducing the hazards and vulnerability along with extending preparedness, response, and recovery measures. This concept encompasses risk analyses and interventions, such as accessible early warning systems, timely deployment of relief workers, provision suitable drugs, and medical equipment to decrease the impact of disasters on people before, during, and after an event(s). Currently, there is a major gap in the scientific literature regarding Health-EDRM to facilitate major global policies and initiatives for disaster risk reduction globally.

A Special Issue of IJERPH focusing on Health-EDRM has published 19 papers successfully since 2018 describing/reporting the latest disaster risks and health risk analyses, as well as interventions for health-related disaster risk management. In response to the emerging research needs in Health-EDRM, a second edition of the Special Issue is now calling for submissions. Disaster risk profiling and interventions can be at the personal/household, community, and system/political levels, and can be targeted at specific health risks including respiratory issues caused by indoor burning, re-emergence of infectious disease due to low vaccination coverage, and gastrointestinal problems resulting from unregulated waste management. Research outcomes and findings of multi-disciplinary studies are highly encouraged to submit to this Special Issue.

Prof. Emily Ying Yang Chan
Dr. Holly Ching Yu Lam
Guest Editors

Reference:

[1] Chan, E.Y.Y.; Murray, V. What are the health research needs for the Sendai Framework? The Lancet 2017, 390, e35–e36. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(17)31670-7.

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Health emergency disaster risk management
  • Natural disasters
  • Intervention
  • Community resilience

Published Papers (16 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
The Mortality Risk and Socioeconomic Vulnerability Associated with High and Low Temperature in Hong Kong
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(19), 7326; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17197326 - 07 Oct 2020
Abstract
(1) Background: The adverse health effect associated with extreme temperature has been extensively reported in the current literature. Some also found that temperature effect may vary among the population with different socioeconomic status (SES), but found inconsistent results. Previous studies on the socioeconomic [...] Read more.
(1) Background: The adverse health effect associated with extreme temperature has been extensively reported in the current literature. Some also found that temperature effect may vary among the population with different socioeconomic status (SES), but found inconsistent results. Previous studies on the socioeconomic vulnerability of temperature effect were mainly achieved by multi-city or country analysis, but the large heterogeneity between cities may introduce additional bias to the estimation. The linkage between death registry and census in Hong Kong allows us to perform a city-wide analysis in which the study population shares virtually the same cultural, lifestyle and policy environment. This study aims to examine and compare the high and low temperature on morality in Hong Kong, a city with a subtropical climate and address a key research question of whether the extreme high and low temperature disproportionally affects population with lower SES. (2) Methods: Poisson-generalized additive models and distributed-lagged nonlinear models were used to examine the association between daily mortality and daily mean temperature between 2007–2015 with other meteorological and confounding factors controlled. Death registry was linked with small area census and area-level median household income was used as the proxy for socioeconomic status. (3) Results: 362,957 deaths during the study period were included in the analysis. The minimum mortality temperature was found to be 28.9 °C (82nd percentile). With a subtropical climate, the low temperature has a stronger effect than the high temperature on non-accidental, cardiovascular, respiratory and cancer deaths in Hong Kong. The hot effect was more pronounced in the first few days, while cold effect tended to last up to three weeks. Significant heat effect was only observed in the lower SES groups, whilst the extreme low temperature was associated with significantly higher mortality risk across all SES groups. The older population were susceptible to extreme temperature, especially for cold. (4) Conclusions: This study raised the concern of cold-related health impact in the subtropical region. Compared with high temperature, low temperature may be considered a universal hazard to the entire population in Hong Kong rather than only disproportionally affecting people with lower SES. Future public health policy should reconsider the strategy at both individual and community levels to reduce temperature-related mortality. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Increased Medical Visits and Mortality among Adults with Cardiovascular Diseases in Severely Affected Areas after Typhoon Morakot
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(18), 6531; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17186531 - 08 Sep 2020
Abstract
Natural disasters have negative health impacts on chronic diseases in affected populations. Severely affected areas are usually rural areas with limited basic infrastructure and a population have that has limited access to optimal healthcare after a disaster. Patients with cardiovascular diseases are required [...] Read more.
Natural disasters have negative health impacts on chronic diseases in affected populations. Severely affected areas are usually rural areas with limited basic infrastructure and a population have that has limited access to optimal healthcare after a disaster. Patients with cardiovascular diseases are required to maintain quality care, especially after disasters. A population-based case-control study enrolled adults from the National Health Insurance Registry who had ischemic heart disease and cerebrovascular disease histories and lived in the area affected by Typhoon Morakot in 2009. Monthly medical visits for acute cerebrovascular and ischemic heart diseases markedly increased at approximately 1–2 months after the typhoon. Survival analysis during the two years following the typhoon indicated a significant increase in mortality in adults with an acute ischemic heart disease history who lived in the severely affected area. Mortality hazard analysis showed that among affected adults with previous cerebrovascular diseases and acute ischemic heart diseases, patients with diabetes (adjusted hazard ratio [HR]: 1.3–1.7), Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) (adjusted HR: 2.0–2.7), chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD) and asthma (adjusted HR: 1.7–2.1), liver cirrhosis (adjusted HR: 2.3–3.3) and neoplasms (adjusted HR: 1.1–2.1) had significantly increased mortality rates. Consequently, high-quality and accessible primary healthcare plans should be made available to maintain and support affected populations after disasters. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Long-Term Impact of Disasters on the Public Health System: A Multi-Case Analysis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(17), 6251; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176251 - 27 Aug 2020
Abstract
As past events have shown, disasters can have a tremendous impact on the affected population’s health. However, research regarding the long-term impact on a systems level perspective is still scarce. In this multi-case study, we analyzed and compared the long-term impacts on the [...] Read more.
As past events have shown, disasters can have a tremendous impact on the affected population’s health. However, research regarding the long-term impact on a systems level perspective is still scarce. In this multi-case study, we analyzed and compared the long-term impacts on the public health system of five disasters which took place in Europe: avalanche (Austria), terror attack (Spain), airplane crash (Luxembourg), cable-car tunnel fire (Austria), and a flood in Central Europe. We used a mixed-methods approach consisting of a document analysis and interviews with key stakeholders, to examine the various long-term impacts each of the disasters had on health-system performance, as well as on security and health protection. The results show manifold changes undertaken in the fields of psychosocial support, infrastructure, and contingency and preparedness planning. The holistic approach of this study shows the importance of analyzing long-term impacts from the perspective of the type (e.g., disasters associated with natural hazards) and characteristic (e.g., duration and extent) of a disaster, as well as the regional context where a disaster took place. However, the identified recurring themes demonstrate the opportunity of learning from case studies in order to customize the lessons and apply them to the own-disaster-management setting. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication
What Happened to People with Non-Communicable Diseases during COVID-19: Implications of H-EDRM Policies
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(15), 5588; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17155588 - 03 Aug 2020
Abstract
People with existing non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are particularly vulnerable to health risks brought upon by emergencies and disasters, yet limited research has been conducted on disease management and the implications of Health-EDRM policies that address health vulnerabilities of people with NCDs during the [...] Read more.
People with existing non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are particularly vulnerable to health risks brought upon by emergencies and disasters, yet limited research has been conducted on disease management and the implications of Health-EDRM policies that address health vulnerabilities of people with NCDs during the COVID-19 pandemic. This paper reports the baseline findings of an anonymous, random, population-based, 6-month cohort study that aimed to examine the experiences of people with NCDs and their relevant self-care patterns during the COVID-19 pandemic. A total of 765 telephone interviews were completed from 22nd March to 1st April 2020 in Hong Kong, China. The dataset was representative of the population, with 18.4% of subjects reporting at least one NCD. Results showed that low household income and residence in government-subsidized housing were significant predictors for the subjects who experienced difficulty in managing during first 2 months of the pandemic (11% of the NCD patients). Of those on long-term NCD medication, 10% reported having less than one week’s supply of medication. Targeted services for vulnerable groups during a pandemic should be explored to support NCD self-care. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Differences in Sense of Belonging, Pride, and Mental Health in the Daegu Metropolitan Region due to COVID-19: Comparison between the Presence and Absence of National Disaster Relief Fund
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(13), 4910; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17134910 - 07 Jul 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
Korea’s Daegu Metropolitan City once had the second highest rate of COVID-19 infection after Wuhan in China. Following the outbreak, the government provided the first national disaster relief fund to citizens as financial aid. This study investigated whether the sense of regional belonging, [...] Read more.
Korea’s Daegu Metropolitan City once had the second highest rate of COVID-19 infection after Wuhan in China. Following the outbreak, the government provided the first national disaster relief fund to citizens as financial aid. This study investigated whether the sense of regional belonging, pride, and mental health among 550 citizens of Daegu differed between the times before and after COVID-19, based on the presence or absence of the disaster relief fund. Frequency analysis, descriptive statistical analysis, and t-tests were conducted using the SPSS 25.0 program. Results showed that the sense of belonging was higher after COVID-19 than before, while pride was lower. Individuals who received the disaster relief fund showed higher levels of regional belonging and pride with statistical significance. The prevalence of melancholy and depression increased after COVID-19, but the presence or absence of the fund did not lead to a significant difference. Thus, in case of a future national disaster level, provision of the disaster relief fund can raise the sense of regional belonging and pride, in order to elicit communication among local residents toward overcoming difficulties. Furthermore, during challenging disaster situations, central and local governments should provide diverse programs for the citizens’ mental health care. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Forecasting of Landslide Displacement Using a Probability-Scheme Combination Ensemble Prediction Technique
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(13), 4788; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17134788 - 03 Jul 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
Data-driven models have been extensively employed in landslide displacement prediction. However, predictive uncertainty, which consists of input uncertainty, parameter uncertainty, and model uncertainty, is usually disregarded in deterministic data-driven modeling, and point estimates are separately presented. In this study, a probability-scheme combination ensemble [...] Read more.
Data-driven models have been extensively employed in landslide displacement prediction. However, predictive uncertainty, which consists of input uncertainty, parameter uncertainty, and model uncertainty, is usually disregarded in deterministic data-driven modeling, and point estimates are separately presented. In this study, a probability-scheme combination ensemble prediction that employs quantile regression neural networks and kernel density estimation (QRNNs-KDE) is proposed for robust and accurate prediction and uncertainty quantification of landslide displacement. In the ensemble model, QRNNs serve as base learning algorithms to generate multiple base learners. Final ensemble prediction is obtained by integration of all base learners through a probability combination scheme based on KDE. The Fanjiaping landslide in the Three Gorges Reservoir area (TGRA) was selected as a case study to explore the performance of the ensemble prediction. Based on long-term (2006–2018) and near real-time monitoring data, a comprehensive analysis of the deformation characteristics was conducted for fully understanding the triggering factors. The experimental results indicate that the QRNNs-KDE approach can perform predictions with perfect performance and outperform the traditional backpropagation (BP), radial basis function (RBF), extreme learning machine (ELM), support vector machine (SVM) methods, bootstrap-extreme learning machine-artificial neural network (bootstrap-ELM-ANN), and Copula-kernel-based support vector machine quantile regression (Copula-KSVMQR). The proposed QRNNs-KDE approach has significant potential in medium-term to long-term horizon forecasting and quantification of uncertainty. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Factors Associated with Urban Risk-Taking Behaviour during 2018 Typhoon Mangkhut: A Cross Sectional Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(11), 4150; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17114150 - 10 Jun 2020
Abstract
Although much of the health emergency and disaster risk management (Health-EDRM) literature evaluates methods to protect health assets and mitigate health risks from disasters, there is a lack of research into those who have taken high-risk behaviour during extreme events. The study’s main [...] Read more.
Although much of the health emergency and disaster risk management (Health-EDRM) literature evaluates methods to protect health assets and mitigate health risks from disasters, there is a lack of research into those who have taken high-risk behaviour during extreme events. The study’s main objective is to examine the association between engaging in high-risk behaviour and factors including sociodemographic characteristics, disaster risk perception and household preparedness during a super typhoon. A computerized randomized digit dialling cross-sectional household survey was conducted in Hong Kong, an urban metropolis, two weeks after the landing of Typhoon Mangkhut. Telephone interviews were conducted in Cantonese with adult residents. The response rate was 23.8% and the sample was representative of the Hong Kong population. Multivariable logistic regressions of 521 respondents adjusted with age and gender found education, income, risk perception and disaster preparedness were insignificantly associated with risk-taking behaviour during typhoons. This suggests that other factors may be involved in driving this behaviour, such as a general tendency to underestimate risk or sensation seeking. Further Health-EDRM research into risk-taking and sensation seeking behaviour during extreme events is needed to identify policy measures. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Association between Utilization of Media Information and Current Health Anxiety Among the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster Evacuees
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(11), 3921; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17113921 - 01 Jun 2020
Abstract
The 2011 nuclear disaster in Fukushima was not only a health disaster, but also an information disaster. Although media can promote health communication following disasters, studies have revealed associations between media information and negative psychological reactions. To clarify the relationship between media utilization [...] Read more.
The 2011 nuclear disaster in Fukushima was not only a health disaster, but also an information disaster. Although media can promote health communication following disasters, studies have revealed associations between media information and negative psychological reactions. To clarify the relationship between media utilization and current health anxiety due to radiation exposure, a cross-sectional questionnaire survey was conducted in Fukushima. We selected 2000 subjects from evacuation (i.e., 500) and non-evacuation (i.e., 1500) areas by two-stage stratified random sampling. As the independent variable, participants were asked about current health anxiety due to radiation exposure at the time of answering the questionnaire. For utilization of media about radiation exposure, local media, national media, Internet media, public broadcasts, and public relations information from local government were set as the dependent variables. Questionnaire data were analyzed by evacuation type (i.e., forced/voluntary). In a multivariate logistic regression analysis, the use of public relations information was significantly associated with lower anxiety for the forced evacuees (odds ratio: 0.72; 95% confidence interval: 0.56–0.93). Our findings highlight the importance of public relations information from local government in terms of it being associated with lower current health anxiety, and this could potentially aid in preparing for future disasters. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Sociodemographic Predictors of Health Risk Perception, Attitude and Behavior Practices Associated with Health-Emergency Disaster Risk Management for Biological Hazards: The Case of COVID-19 Pandemic in Hong Kong, SAR China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(11), 3869; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17113869 - 29 May 2020
Cited by 9
Abstract
In addition to top-down Health-Emergency and Disaster Risk Management (Health-EDRM) efforts, bottom-up individual and household measures are crucial for prevention and emergency response of the COVID-19 pandemic, a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). There is limited scientific evidence of the knowledge, [...] Read more.
In addition to top-down Health-Emergency and Disaster Risk Management (Health-EDRM) efforts, bottom-up individual and household measures are crucial for prevention and emergency response of the COVID-19 pandemic, a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). There is limited scientific evidence of the knowledge, perception, attitude and behavior patterns of the urban population. A computerized randomized digital dialing, cross-sectional, population landline-based telephone survey was conducted from 22 March to 1 April 2020 in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China. Data were collected for socio-demographic characteristics, knowledge, attitude and risk perception, and various self-reported Health-EDRM behavior patterns associated with COVID-19. The final study sample was 765. Although the respondents thought that individuals (68.6%) had similar responsibilities as government (67.5%) in infection control, less than 50% had sufficient health risk management knowledge to safeguard health and well-being. Among the examined Health-EDRM measures, significant differences were found between attitude and practice in regards to washing hands with soap, ordering takeaways, wearing masks, avoidance of visiting public places or using public transport, and travel avoidance to COVID-19-confirmed regions. Logistic regression indicated that the elderly were less likely to worry about infection with COVID-19. Compared to personal and household hygiene practices, lower compliance was found for public social distancing. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Personal Cold Protection Behaviour and Its Associated Factors in 2016/17 Cold Days in Hong Kong: A Two-Year Cohort Telephone Survey Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(5), 1672; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17051672 - 04 Mar 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Background: Despite larger health burdens attributed to cold than heat, few studies have examined personal cold protection behaviours (PCPB). This study examined PCPB during cold waves and identified the associated factors in a subtropical city for those without central heating system. Methods: [...] Read more.
Background: Despite larger health burdens attributed to cold than heat, few studies have examined personal cold protection behaviours (PCPB). This study examined PCPB during cold waves and identified the associated factors in a subtropical city for those without central heating system. Methods: A cohort telephone survey was conducted in Hong Kong during a colder cold wave (2016) and a warmer cold wave (2017) among adults (≥15). Socio-demographic information, risk perception, self-reported adverse health effects and patterns of PCPB during cold waves were collected. Associated factors of PCPB in 2017 were identified using multiple logistic regression. Results: The cohort included 429 subjects. PCPB uptake rates were higher during the colder cold wave (p < 0.0005) except for ensuring indoor ventilation. Of the vulnerable groups, 63.7% had low self-perceived health risks. High risk perception, experience of adverse health effects during the 2016 cold wave, females and older groups were positive associated factors of PCPB in 2017 (p < 0.05). Conclusions: PCPB changed with self-risk perception. However vulnerable groups commonly underestimated their own risk. Indoor ventilation may be a concern during cold days in settings that are less prepared for cold weather. Targeted awareness-raising promotion for vulnerable groups and practical strategies for ensuring indoor ventilation are needed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Acute Mental Health Needs Duration during Major Disasters: A Phenomenological Experience of Disaster Psychiatric Assistance Teams (DPATs) in Japan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(5), 1530; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17051530 - 27 Feb 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
Background: How long acute mental health needs continue after the disaster are problems which must be addressed in the treatment of victims. The aim of this study is to determine victims’ needs by examining activity data from Disaster Psychiatric Assistance Teams (DPATs) in [...] Read more.
Background: How long acute mental health needs continue after the disaster are problems which must be addressed in the treatment of victims. The aim of this study is to determine victims’ needs by examining activity data from Disaster Psychiatric Assistance Teams (DPATs) in Japan. Methods: Data from four disasters were extracted from the disaster mental health information support system (DMHISS) database, and the transition of the number of consultations and the activity period were examined. Results: Common to all four disasters, the number of consultations increased rapidly from 0–2 days, reaching a peak within about a week. The partial correlation coefficient between the number of days of activity and the maximum number of victims showed significance. The number of victims and days of activity can be used to obtain a regression curve. Conclusions: This is the first report to reveal that mental health needs are the greatest in the hyper-acute stage, and the need for consultation and the duration of needs depends on the number of victims. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Salutogenic Approach to Disaster Recovery: The Case of the Lac-Mégantic Rail Disaster
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(5), 1463; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17051463 - 25 Feb 2020
Abstract
In July 2013, a train carrying crude oil derailed in Lac-Mégantic (Canada). This disaster provoked a major fire, 47 deaths, the destruction of 44 buildings, a massive evacuation, and an unparalleled oil spill. Since 2013, Public Health has undertaken several actions to address [...] Read more.
In July 2013, a train carrying crude oil derailed in Lac-Mégantic (Canada). This disaster provoked a major fire, 47 deaths, the destruction of 44 buildings, a massive evacuation, and an unparalleled oil spill. Since 2013, Public Health has undertaken several actions to address this challenging situation, using both quantitative and qualitative methods. Community-based surveys were conducted in Lac-Mégantic in 2014, 2015 and 2018. The first two surveys showed persistent and widespread health needs. Inspired by a salutogenic approach, Public Health has shifted its focus from health protection to health promotion. In 2016, a Day of Reflection was organized during which a map of community assets and an action plan for the community recovery were co-constructed with local stakeholders. The creation of an Outreach Team is an important outcome of this collective reflection. This team aims to enhance resilience and adaptive capacity. Several promising initiatives arose from the action plan—all of which greatly contributed to mobilize the community. Interestingly, the 2018 survey suggests that the situation is now evolving positively. This case study stresses the importance of recognizing community members as assets, rather than victims, and seeking a better balance between health protection and health promotion approaches. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Infection Spread and High-Resolution Detection of Close Contact Behaviors
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(4), 1445; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17041445 - 24 Feb 2020
Cited by 5
Abstract
Knowledge of human behaviors is important for improving indoor-environment design, building-energy efficiency, and productivity, and for studies of infection spread. However, such data are lacking. In this study, we designed a device for detecting and recording, second by second, the 3D indoor positioning [...] Read more.
Knowledge of human behaviors is important for improving indoor-environment design, building-energy efficiency, and productivity, and for studies of infection spread. However, such data are lacking. In this study, we designed a device for detecting and recording, second by second, the 3D indoor positioning and head and body motions of each graduate student in an office. From more than 400 person hours of data. Students spent 92.2%, 4.1%, 2.9%, and 0.8% of their time in their own office cubicles, other office cubicles, aisles, and areas near public facilities, respectively. They spent 9.7% of time in close contact, and each student averagely had 4.0 close contacts/h. Students spent long time on close contact in the office which may lead to high infection risk. The average interpersonal distance during close contact was 0.81 m. When sitting, students preferred small relative face orientation angle. Pairs of standing students preferred a face-to-face orientation during close contact which means this pattern had a lower infection risk via close contact. Probability of close contact decreased exponentially with the increasing distance between two students’ cubicles. Data on human behaviour during close contact is helpful for infection risk analysis and infection control and prevention. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Narrative Review on Health-EDRM Primary Prevention Measures for Vector-Borne Diseases
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(16), 5981; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17165981 - 18 Aug 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Climate change is expanding the global at-risk population for vector-borne diseases (VBDs). The World Health Organization (WHO) health emergency and disaster risk management (health-EDRM) framework emphasises the importance of primary prevention of biological hazards and its value in protecting against VBDs. The framework [...] Read more.
Climate change is expanding the global at-risk population for vector-borne diseases (VBDs). The World Health Organization (WHO) health emergency and disaster risk management (health-EDRM) framework emphasises the importance of primary prevention of biological hazards and its value in protecting against VBDs. The framework encourages stakeholder coordination and information sharing, though there is still a need to reinforce prevention and recovery within disaster management. This keyword-search based narrative literature review searched databases PubMed, Google Scholar, Embase and Medline between January 2000 and May 2020, and identified 134 publications. In total, 10 health-EDRM primary prevention measures are summarised at three levels (personal, environmental and household). Enabling factor, limiting factors, co-benefits and strength of evidence were identified. Current studies on primary prevention measures for VBDs focus on health risk-reduction, with minimal evaluation of actual disease reduction. Although prevention against mosquito-borne diseases, notably malaria, has been well-studied, research on other vectors and VBDs remains limited. Other gaps included the limited evidence pertaining to prevention in resource-poor settings and the efficacy of alternatives, discrepancies amongst agencies’ recommendations, and limited studies on the impact of technological advancements and habitat change on VBD prevalence. Health-EDRM primary prevention measures for VBDs require high-priority research to facilitate multifaceted, multi-sectoral, coordinated responses that will enable effective risk mitigation. Full article
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Open AccessReview
A Literature Review on Psychosocial Support for Disaster Responders: Qualitative Synthesis with Recommended Actions for Protecting and Promoting the Mental Health of Responders
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(6), 2011; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17062011 - 18 Mar 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Little scientific evidence exists on ways to decrease the psychological stress experienced by disaster responders, or how to maintain and improve their mental health. In an effort to grasp the current state of research, we examined research papers, agency reports, the manuals of [...] Read more.
Little scientific evidence exists on ways to decrease the psychological stress experienced by disaster responders, or how to maintain and improve their mental health. In an effort to grasp the current state of research, we examined research papers, agency reports, the manuals of aid organisations, and educational materials, in both English and Japanese. Using MEDLINE, Ichushi-Web (Japanese search engine), Google Scholar, websites of the United Nations agencies, and the database of the Grants System for Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare, 71 pertinent materials were identified, 49 of which were analysed. As a result, 55 actions were extracted that could potentially protect and improve the mental health of disaster responders, leading to specific recommendations. These include (1) during the pre-activity phase, enabling responders to anticipate stressful situations at a disaster site and preparing them to monitor their stress level; (2) during the activity phase, engaging in preventive measures against on-site stress; (3) using external professional support when the level of stress is excessive; and (4) after the disaster response, getting back to routines, sharing of experiences, and long-term follow-up. Our results highlighted the need to offer psychological support to disaster responders throughout the various phases of their duties. Full article
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Other

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Open AccessCommentary
The Asia Pacific Disaster Mental Health Network: Setting a Mental Health Agenda for the Region
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(17), 6144; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176144 - 24 Aug 2020
Abstract
Addressing the psychological mechanisms and structural inequalities that underpin mental health issues is critical to recovery following disasters and pandemics. The Asia Pacific Disaster Mental Health Network was established in June 2020 in response to the current disaster climate and to foster advancements [...] Read more.
Addressing the psychological mechanisms and structural inequalities that underpin mental health issues is critical to recovery following disasters and pandemics. The Asia Pacific Disaster Mental Health Network was established in June 2020 in response to the current disaster climate and to foster advancements in disaster-oriented mental health research, practice and policy across the region. Supported by the World Health Organization (WHO) Thematic Platform for Health Emergency and Disaster Risk Management (Health EDRM), the network brings together leading disaster psychiatry, psychology and public health experts. Our aim is to advance policy, research and targeted translation of the evidence so that communities are better informed in preparation and response to disasters, pandemics and mass trauma. The first meetings of the network resulted in the development of a regional disaster mental health agenda focused on the current context, with five priority areas: (1) Strengthening community engagement and the integration of diverse perspectives in planning, implementing and evaluating mental health and psychosocial response in disasters; (2) Supporting and assessing the capacity of mental health systems to respond to disasters; (3) Optimising emerging technologies in mental healthcare; (4) Understanding and responding appropriately to addressing the mental health impacts of climate change; (5) Prioritising mental health and psychosocial support for high-risk groups. Consideration of these priority areas in future research, practice and policy will support nuanced and effective psychosocial initiatives for disaster-affected populations within the Asia Pacific region. Full article
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