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Public Health Issues under Regular Epidemic Prevention and Control

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 September 2023) | Viewed by 12091

Special Issue Editor

Key Laboratory of Environmental and Viral Oncology, Faculty of Environment and Life, Beijing University of Technology, Beijing 100124, China
Interests: tumor resistance; pharmacology; molecular toxicology; environmental pollutants; computational toxicology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

It has now been over two years since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it has become clear at this stage that complete eradication of the disease behind it is impossible. Indeed, there have been growing signs of societal acceptance of the fact that we might need to become accustomed to long-term coexistence with COVID-19.

In the context of the need for global pandemic prevention and control, new changes have taken place in public health around the world. As a result of the pandemic’s spread, outdoors activities were reduced to the bare minimum, bringing about problems such as reduced and insufficient physical activity. Social media has been widely used to publish information on disease risks, health lifestyles, and pandemic prevention policies, and public opinion online also affected public awareness of COVID-19 prevention and control policies. Meanwhile, community governance was more obvious in terms of COVID-19 control and citizen health. The prolonged existence of the pandemic has introduced not only attitudinal changes, however; it has also brought forth new challenges to public health.

In order to promote public health in the context of pandemic prevention and control, we are launching this Special Issue on “Public Health Issues under Regular Epidemic Prevention and Control”. This Special Issue aims to provide a platform for publishing and sharing the latest progress in public health research, particularly in the context of the pandemic. We welcome scholars from around the world to submit manuscripts such as original articles, case reports, comments, and reviews.

Dr. Guohui Sun
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • public health
  • health communication
  • child health
  • social media
  • network public opinion
  • primary-level governance

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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14 pages, 1546 KiB  
Article
Linking Cultural Tightness, Components of Norm Activation and COVID-19 Preventive Behaviors among University Students: Evidence from Beijing, China
by Yang Zou, Xianwei Liu, Miaomiao Yu and Yichu Deng
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(6), 4905; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20064905 - 10 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1215
Abstract
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has imposed greater challenges and more stringent requirements on higher education institutions (HEIs). However, limited empirical research has been devoted to identifying external and internal factors that may promote individual preventive behaviors during the COVID-19 pandemic within the higher [...] Read more.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has imposed greater challenges and more stringent requirements on higher education institutions (HEIs). However, limited empirical research has been devoted to identifying external and internal factors that may promote individual preventive behaviors during the COVID-19 pandemic within the higher education context. This study proposed and examined an extended norm activation model (NAM) concerning the relationships among cultural tightness, original NAM components, and COVID-19 preventive behaviors. An online survey was conducted with a sample of 3693 university students from 18 universities in Beijing, China. The results showed that cultural tightness was positively associated with respondents’ COVID-19 preventive behaviors. Three original NAM variables, namely, awareness of consequences, the ascription of responsibility, and personal norms, played a chain mediating role in the relationship between cultural tightness and COVID-19 preventive behaviors. Theoretical and practical implications regarding the findings of this study and suggestions for future research are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Health Issues under Regular Epidemic Prevention and Control)
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11 pages, 359 KiB  
Article
Decreased Respiratory-Related Absenteeism among Preschool Students after Installation of Upper Room Germicidal Ultraviolet Light: Analysis of Newly Discovered Historical Data
by Christopher W. Ryan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(3), 2536; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20032536 - 31 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1371
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought renewed urgency to air disinfection. Upper room germicidal ultraviolet light (GUV) disinfects room air very efficiently. Its effect on practical outcomes in public settings remains unclear, but history may provide some insights. An interrupted time series model was [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought renewed urgency to air disinfection. Upper room germicidal ultraviolet light (GUV) disinfects room air very efficiently. Its effect on practical outcomes in public settings remains unclear, but history may provide some insights. An interrupted time series model was fitted to a newly discovered dataset of attendance records from a preschool between 1941 to 1949, where GUV was installed in December 1945. GUV was associated with a sizable reduction in child absenteeism due to respiratory illnesses of any cause. Odds ratios for the effect ranged from 0.5 to 0.77, depending on the season. In all but high summer, model-predicted absenteeism rates were reduced by between a third and a half by GUV. Wider use of upper room germicidal UV systems in schools and preschools may be worthwhile, to reduce absenteeism due to respiratory illness and the educational, social, and economic consequences that ensue. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Health Issues under Regular Epidemic Prevention and Control)
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19 pages, 2588 KiB  
Article
Risk Transmission Mechanism of Domestic Cluster Epidemic Caused by Overseas Imported Cases: Multiple Case Studies Based on Grounded Theory
by Xuefeng Li, Hui Jiang and Xiaoyu Liang
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(18), 11810; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191811810 - 19 Sep 2022
Viewed by 1387
Abstract
The continued severity of the global epidemic situation has led to a rising risk of imported cases in China, and domestic cluster epidemic events caused by imported cases have occurred from time to time, repeatedly causing nation-wide disruption. To deeply explain this phenomenon, [...] Read more.
The continued severity of the global epidemic situation has led to a rising risk of imported cases in China, and domestic cluster epidemic events caused by imported cases have occurred from time to time, repeatedly causing nation-wide disruption. To deeply explain this phenomenon, this study adopted the grounded theory method, using the 5·21 Guangzhou COVID-19 outbreak and 7·20 Nanjing COVID-19 outbreak as examples to study the risk transmission mechanism of domestic cluster epidemic caused by overseas imported cases. The study found that the risk factors for the phenomenon mainly include the following seven aspects: external protection, operations and supervision, international and domestic environment, contaminated objects, virus characteristics, management efficacy, and individual factors. These risk factors together constitute the “detonator”, “risk source”, “risk carrier,” and “risk amplifier” in the risk transmission process. In addition, this study also found that the transmission mechanism of domestic clusters caused by imported cases is a process of secondary risk amplification. The increase in risk carriers leads to a surge in secondary risks compared with the first, which leads to the outbreak of domestic clusters. Finally, based on the characteristics of the transmission mechanism and risk transmission components, this study provides some suggestions on risk mitigation for public departments to optimize China’s epidemic prevention policies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Health Issues under Regular Epidemic Prevention and Control)
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22 pages, 2278 KiB  
Article
Evaluating the Effectiveness of the COVID-19 Emergency Outbreak Prevention and Control Based on CIA-ISM
by Renlong Wang, Endong Wang, Lingzhi Li and Wei Li
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(12), 7146; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19127146 - 10 Jun 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1679
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic, characterized by high uncertainty and difficulty in prevention and control, has caused significant disasters in human society. In this situation, emergency management of pandemic prevention and control is essential to reduce the pandemic’s devastation and rapidly restore economic and social [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic, characterized by high uncertainty and difficulty in prevention and control, has caused significant disasters in human society. In this situation, emergency management of pandemic prevention and control is essential to reduce the pandemic’s devastation and rapidly restore economic and social stability. Few studies have focused on a scenario analysis of the entire emergency response process. To fill this research gap, this paper applies a cross impact analysis (CIA) and interpretive structural modeling (ISM) approach to analyze emergency scenarios and evaluate the effectiveness of emergency management during the COVID-19 crisis for outbreak prevention and control. First, the model extracts the critical events for COVID-19 epidemic prevention and control, including source, process, and resultant events. Subsequently, we generated different emergency management scenarios according to different impact levels and conducted scenario deduction and analysis. A CIA-ISM based scenario modeling approach is applied to COVID-19 emergency management in Nanjing city, China, and the results of the scenario projection are compared with actual situations to prove the validity of the approach. The results show that CIA-ISM based scenario modeling can realize critical event identification, scenario generation, and evolutionary scenario deduction in epidemic prevention and control. This method effectively handles the complexity and uncertainty of epidemic prevention and control and provides insights that can be utilized by emergency managers to achieve effective epidemic prevention and control. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Health Issues under Regular Epidemic Prevention and Control)
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17 pages, 1062 KiB  
Brief Report
Using Grounded Theory to Identify Online Public Opinion in China to Improve Risk Management—The Case of COVID-19
by Chao Zhang, Ning Ma and Guohui Sun
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(22), 14754; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph192214754 - 10 Nov 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2029
Abstract
Background: During the outbreak of COVID-19, online public opinion related to the epidemic was rapidly generated and developed rapidly. If some online public opinions cannot be effectively responded to and guided, it will bring risks to social order. The government should understand how [...] Read more.
Background: During the outbreak of COVID-19, online public opinion related to the epidemic was rapidly generated and developed rapidly. If some online public opinions cannot be effectively responded to and guided, it will bring risks to social order. The government should understand how to use information on social media to grasp public demands, provide useful information in a timely manner and take countermeasures. Studying the formation mechanism of online public opinion during the outbreak can help the government make scientific decisions and improve risk management capabilities. Methods: The research selects the public opinion information of online platforms represented by WeChat, online communities, Sina Weibo and search engines, involving 75 relevant texts (1 January to 31 March 2022). According to the grounded theory method, using the QSR NVivo12 qualitative research software, the collected network texts were successively researched using open coding, axial coding and theoretical coding. Results: The structure of online public opinion during the COVID-19 epidemic was obtained. The operation mechanism of the online public opinion system about COVID-19 was mainly affected by the interaction of online public opinion objects, online public opinion subjects, online public opinion intermediaries and government forces. It was based on social facts and citizens’ appeals as the starting point, subject behaviors and prevention and control measures as the focus, government’s governance as macro-control and citizens’ evaluation as the guide. Conclusions: Scientific analysis of online public opinion is an important tool to identify and manage risks and improve the quality of government activities. Online public opinion has the function of assisting government decision-making, and the government can identify the important information reflected in it, especially the mainstream public opinion, as a reference for decision-making. By taking effective measures and properly responding to citizens’ reasonable demands, the government can prevent social risks and avoid new negative public opinions. Contributions: According to the characteristics of the basic model of online public opinion, this study provides risk mitigation suggestions for Chinese public sectors to use online public opinion, optimize epidemic prevention policies and formulate strategic measures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Health Issues under Regular Epidemic Prevention and Control)
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9 pages, 341 KiB  
Commentary
Point-of-Care Diagnostics for Diagnosis of Active Syphilis Infection: Needs, Challenges and the Way Forward
by Minh D. Pham, Jason J. Ong, David A. Anderson, Heidi E. Drummer and Mark Stoové
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(13), 8172; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19138172 - 04 Jul 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2920
Abstract
Syphilis, a curable sexually transmitted infection, has re-emerged as a global public health threat with an estimated 5.6 million new cases every year. Pregnant women and men who have sex with men are key target populations for syphilis control and prevention programs. Frequent [...] Read more.
Syphilis, a curable sexually transmitted infection, has re-emerged as a global public health threat with an estimated 5.6 million new cases every year. Pregnant women and men who have sex with men are key target populations for syphilis control and prevention programs. Frequent syphilis testing for timely and accurate diagnosis of active infections for appropriate clinical management is a key strategy to effectively prevent disease transmission. However, there are persistent challenges in the diagnostic landscape and service delivery/testing models that hinder global syphilis control efforts. In this commentary, we summarise the current trends and challenges in diagnosis of active syphilis infection and identify the data gaps and key areas for research and development of novel point-of-care diagnostics which could help to overcome the present technological, individual and structural barriers in access to syphilis testing. We present expert opinion on future research which will be required to accelerate the validation and implementation of new point-of-care diagnostics in real-world settings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Health Issues under Regular Epidemic Prevention and Control)
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