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COVID-19: Original Article
Effective vaccination strategies to control COVID-19 in Korea: a modeling study
Youngsuk Ko, Kyong Ran Peck, Yae-Jean Kim, Dong-Hyun Kim, Eunok Jung
Epidemiol Health. 2023;45:e2023084.   Published online September 7, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2023084
  • 4,515 View
  • 115 Download
AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
In Korea, as immunity levels of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the population acquired through previous infections and vaccinations have decreased, booster vaccinations have emerged as a necessary measure to control new outbreaks. The objective of this study was to identify the most suitable vaccination strategy for controlling the surge in COVID-19 cases.
METHODS
A mathematical model was developed to concurrently evaluate the immunity levels induced by vaccines and infections. This model was then employed to investigate the potential for future resurgence and the possibility of control through the use of vaccines and antivirals.
RESULTS
As of May 11, 2023, if the current epidemic trend persists without further vaccination efforts, a peak in resurgence is anticipated to occur around mid-October of the same year. Under the most favorable circumstances, the peak number of severely hospitalized patients could be reduced by 43% (n=480) compared to the scenario without vaccine intervention (n=849). Depending on outbreak trends and vaccination strategies, the best timing for vaccination in terms of minimizing this peak varies from May 2023 to August 2023.
CONCLUSIONS
Our findings suggest that if the epidemic persist, the best timing for administering vaccinations would need to be earlier than currently outlined in the Korean plan. It is imperative to continue monitoring outbreak trends, as this is key to determining the best vaccination timing in order to manage potential future surges.
Summary
Korean summary
본 연구는 자연감염 혹은 백신으로 획득된 면역의 저하를 고려한 수리모델을 사용하여 COVID-19에 대한 백신 접종 전략 분석 결과를 보인다. 시뮬레이션 결과는 추가 백신 접종이 없을 경우 재유행의 정점이 800명을 넘을 것임을 나타내며, 적절한 시기에 백신을 접종하면 최대 재원 위중증환자수를 약 40%까지 줄일 수 있음을 보인다. 본 연구는 확진자 추세의 지속적인 모니터링이 백신 접종의 적정 시기를 결정하고 미래 COVID-19의 재유행을 효과적으로 관리하는 데 필요하다는 점을 강조한다.
Key Message
Our study analyzes strategies for COVID-19 through vaccination, using a mathematical model considering waning immunity from past infections and vaccinations. Results indicate that a resurgence peak would reach more than 800 without further vaccination, and suggest vaccination in proper timing can reduce the peak size of administered severe patients by up to approximately 40%. The study emphasizes the importance of ongoing monitoring of outbreak trends to manage vaccination timing and future COVID-19 surges effectively.
COVID-19: Original Article
Seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies during the third wave of COVID-19 in the Seoul metropolitan area of Korea
Kyuhyun Yoon, Jayeun Kim, Kyong Ran Peck, Hyun Soo Kim, Hyukmin Lee, Yoo-Sung Hwang, Soon Young Lee, Sung-il Cho, Hun Jae Lee, Yeong-gyeong Kim, Byoungguk Kim, June-Woo Lee, Ah-Ra Kim, Hyeon Nam Do, Dong-Hyun Kim
Epidemiol Health. 2022;44:e2022085.   Published online September 30, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2022085
  • 4,356 View
  • 174 Download
  • 2 Web of Science
  • 2 Crossref
AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDF
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
After the third wave of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), by mid-February 2021, approximately 0.16% of the Korean population was confirmed positive, which appeared to be among the lowest rates worldwide at that time. However, asymptomatic transmission is challenging for COVID-19 surveillance. Therefore, a community-based serosurvey of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection was conducted to understand the effectiveness of Korea’s strong containment strategy.
METHODS
We collected 5,002 residual sera samples from January 30 to March 3, 2021, from 265 medical facilities in Seoul, 346 in Gyeonggi Province, and 57 in Incheon. Sixty samples from tertiary institutions were excluded. We defined the sub-regions according to the addresses of the medical facilities where the specimens were collected. Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 was used for screening, and positivity was confirmed using the SARS-CoV-2 sVNT Kit. Prevalence was estimated using sampling weights and the Wilson score interval for a binomial proportion with a 95% confidence interval.
RESULTS
Among the 4,942 specimens, 32 and 25 tested positive for COVID-19 in the screening and confirmatory tests, respectively. The overall crude prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies was 0.51%. The population-adjusted overall prevalence was 0.55% in women and 0.38% in men. The region-specific estimation was 0.67% and 0.30% in Gyeonggi Province and Seoul, respectively. No positive cases were detected in Incheon.
CONCLUSIONS
The proportion of undetected cases in Korea remained low as of early 2021. Therefore, an infection control strategy with exhaustive tracing and widespread pre-emptive testing appears to be effective in containing community spread of COVID-19.
Summary
Korean summary
코로나19바이러스 감염병(COVID-19)의 한국 내 3차 대유행기인 2020년 말 이후, 2021년 1월 우리나라 인구의 약 0.16%가 누적 확진되었으며, 이는 세계에서 매우 낮은 비율을 보이는 국가 중 하나였습니다. 그러나 COVID-19의 무증상 전파는 감염 확산방지와 감시체계에 문제점들을 초래할 수 있어 지역사회 기반 혈청 조사를 통해 그 현황을 파악했습니다. 2021년 1월 30일부터 3월 3일까지 서울, 경기, 인천 등 수도권 소재 1, 2차 의료기관에서 수집된 혈액검체의 잔여혈청표본 4942개에 대해 Roche사의 Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2를 이용한 1차 항체검사와, GenScript의 SARS-CoV-2 sVNT Kit를 이용하여 2차 중화항체유무를 확인하였다. 4942명의 검체 중 1차 검사와 2차 중화항체검사에서 각각 32명과 25명이 항체 양성이었다. SARS-CoV-2 항체의 전체 수도권 조유병률은 0.51%였습니다. 인구의 연령보정 전체 유병률은 0.47%였으며, 성별로는 여성에서 0.55%, 남성에서 0.38%였습니다. 지역별 추정치는 경기도와 서울이 각각 0.67%와 0.30%였고, 인천에서는 양성사례가 발견되지 않았습니다. 한국의 미발견 사례 비율은 누적 확진율의 3배에 달하지만, 여전히 1% 미만으로 ​​낮습니다. 철저한 추적과 광범위한 선제적 검사를 통한 감염 관리 전략이 지역사회에서 바이러스 확산을 억제하는 데 효과적이었던 것으로 보입니다.
Key Message
Around February 2021, the SARS-CoV-2 antibody test was conducted on the residual serum of adults (≥19 years) collected from primary and secondary medical institutions in the metropolitan area in South Korea. The estimated overall prevalence was 0.60% in the electrochemiluminescence immunoassay (ECLIA) detecting IgG against the nucleocapsid protein and 0.47% for the neutralization antibody. The positivity of the confirmed test using surrogate neutralizing antibodies was only 78% of the ECLIA’s results. For prevention and control measures against the spread of SARS-CoV-2 infections and new variants emerge, serosurvey targeting community-dwelling people is needed to understand the changing status in the community.

Citations

Citations to this article as recorded by  
  • Realistic Estimation of COVID-19 Infection by Seroprevalence Surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 Antibodies: An Experience From Korea Metropolitan Area From January to May 2022
    In Hwa Jeong, Jong-Hun Kim, Min-Jung Kwon, Jayoung Kim, Hee Jin Huh, Byoungguk Kim, Junewoo Lee, Jeong-hyun Nam, Eun-Suk Kang
    Journal of Korean Medical Science.2024;[Epub]     CrossRef
  • Korea Seroprevalence Study of Monitoring of SARS-COV-2 Antibody Retention and Transmission (K-SEROSMART): findings from national representative sample
    Jina Han, Hye Jin Baek, Eunbi Noh, Kyuhyun Yoon, Jung Ae Kim, Sukhyun Ryu, Kay O Lee, No Yai Park, Eunok Jung, Sangil Kim, Hyukmin Lee, Yoo-Sung Hwang, Jaehun Jung, Hun Jae Lee, Sung-il Cho, Sangcheol Oh, Migyeong Kim, Chang-Mo Oh, Byengchul Yu, Young-Seo
    Epidemiology and Health.2023; 45: e2023075.     CrossRef
Review
Monkeypox: the resurgence of forgotten things
Sun Bean Kim, Jaehun Jung, Kyong Ran Peck
Epidemiol Health. 2022;44:e2022082.   Published online September 26, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2022082
  • 3,985 View
  • 144 Download
  • 3 Web of Science
  • 3 Crossref
AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDF
Abstract
Monkeypox, a rare zoonotic disease, is primarily prevalent in Central and Western Africa. However, monkeypox is emerging as a worldwide concern due to the 2022 monkeypox outbreak, which is the first instance of widespread community transmission outside Africa. Monkeypox is caused by the monkeypox virus, which belongs to the genus <i>Orthopoxvirus</i> and presents as a vesicular-pustular disease that may be preceded by fever, malaise, and other constitutional symptoms. If present, lymphadenopathy may distinguish it from chickenpox or smallpox. However, contrary to previous manifestations, most monkeypox patients presented with atypical features during the 2022 outbreak. Monkeypox is usually a self-limiting disease with symptoms lasting between 2 weeks and 4 weeks and is mainly transmitted when a person comes into contact with an infected animal, person, or fomites contaminated with the virus. Very few treatment options are available for this disease. Tecovirimat has been licensed in some countries for the treatment of smallpox and monkeypox infections. Two other medications, cidofovir and brincidofovir, have been found to be effective against poxviruses in in vitro and animal studies, but data on human cases of monkeypox are limited. Although Imvamune (JYNNEOS), a vaccine against monkeypox, is authorized in the United States, there are currently no established routine vaccination programs. Current preventive strategies focus on the detection of probable cases and containment of the outbreak through the implementation of selected ring vaccination programs. Fundamental principles to prevent the spread of monkeypox, including maintaining personal hygiene and avoiding close contact with symptomatic patients, are of paramount importance.
Summary
Korean summary
원숭이두창은 orthopoxvirus에 속하는 원숭이두창 바이러스에 의해 발생하며, 중앙아프리카와 서아프리카에서 주로 발견되는 희귀한 인수공통감염병이었으나 2022년에 집단 발병했던 원숭이두창 환자들은 이전부터 널리 알려진 증세와 달리 비전형적인 임상 특징을 보이고 있고, 전 세계적으로 아프리카와의 역학적 연관성없이 아프리카 이외의 여러 지역에서 원숭이두창이 집단 발병하면서 보건학적 화두로 대두되었다. 원숭이두창에 대한 치료는 증상 호전을 위한 대증 요법이 주가 되며, 매우 제한적인 항바이러스제가 치료 약제로 이용된다. 2019년 미국에서 Imvamune (Jynneos)가 성인을 대상으로 원숭이두창 백신으로 사용이 승인되었다. 하지만 예방 접종뿐만 아니라 손씻기 등의 개인위생 유지, 의심 혹은 확진 환자와의 긴밀한 접촉을 피하는 것 등이 원숭이두창 확산을 막기 위한 가장 중요한 기본 원칙이다.
Key Message
Monkeypox is caused by the monkeypox virus, which belongs to the genus Orthopoxvirus and presents as a vesicular-pustular disease that may be preceded by fever, malaise, and other constitutional symptoms. Contrary to previous manifestations, most monkeypox patients presented with atypical features during the 2022 outbreak. Very few treatment options are available for this disease and current preventive strategies focus on the detection of probable cases and containment of the outbreak through the implementation of selected ring vaccination programs. Fundamental principles to prevent the spread of monkeypox, including maintaining personal hygiene and avoiding close contact with symptomatic patients, are of paramount importance.

Citations

Citations to this article as recorded by  
  • Breaking Barriers: Current Advances and Future Directions in Mpox Therapy
    Bhumi M. Shah, Palmi Modi
    Current Drug Targets.2024; 25(1): 62.     CrossRef
  • How to cope with suspected mpox patients in the outpatient clinic
    Nam Joong Kim, Sun Huh
    Journal of the Korean Medical Association.2023; 66(5): 325.     CrossRef
  • An International Outburst of New Form of Monkeypox Virus
    Kiran Dobhal, Pallavi Ghildiyal, A.N.M. Ansori, Vikash Jakhmola
    Journal of Pure and Applied Microbiology.2022; 16(suppl 1): 3013.     CrossRef
COVID-19: Original Article
Model-based cost-effectiveness analysis of oral antivirals against SARS-CoV-2 in Korea
Youngji Jo, Sun Bean Kim, Munkhzul Radnaabaatar, Kyungmin Huh, Jin-Hong Yoo, Kyong Ran Peck, Hojun Park, Jaehun Jung
Epidemiol Health. 2022;44:e2022034.   Published online March 12, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2022034
  • 13,282 View
  • 651 Download
  • 11 Web of Science
  • 12 Crossref
AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
Many countries have authorized the emergency use of oral antiviral agents for patients with mild-to-moderate cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). We assessed the cost-effectiveness of these agents for reducing the number of severe COVID-19 cases and the burden on Korea’s medical system.
METHODS
Using an existing model, we estimated the number of people who would require hospital/intensive care unit (ICU) admission in Korea in 2022. The treatment scenarios included (1) all adult patients, (2) elderly patients only, and (3) adult patients with underlying diseases only, compared to standard care. Based on the current health system capacity, we calculated the incremental costs per severe case averted and hospital admission for each scenario.
RESULTS
We estimated that 236,510 COVID-19 patients would require hospital/ICU admission in 2022 with standard care only. Nirmatrelvir/ritonavir (87% efficacy) was predicted to reduce this number by 80%, 24%, and 17% when targeting all adults, adults with underlying diseases, and elderly patients (25, 8, and 4%, respectively, for molnupiravir, with 30% efficacy). Nirmatrelvir/ritonavir use is likely to be cost-effective, with predicted costs of US$8,878, US$8,964, and US$1,454, per severe patient averted for the target groups listed above, respectively, while molnupiravir is likely to be less cost-effective, with costs of US$28,492, US$29,575, and US$7,915, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS
In Korea, oral treatment using nirmatrelvir/ritonavir for symptomatic COVID-19 patients targeting elderly patients would be highly cost-effective and would substantially reduce the demand for hospital admission to below the capacity of the health system if targeted to all adult patients instead of standard care.
Summary
Korean summary
본 연구는 감염병 수리모형을 바탕으로 두가지 항바이러스제의 (nirmatrelvir/ritonavir와 molnupiravir) 비용 효익을 평가하였다. 본 모델에 따르면, 2022년 한국에서, 현재 의료시스템의 수용한계를 넘는 코로나 19 대유행이 발생할 때, nirmatrelvir/ritonavir 를 코로나 감염 및 증상 있는 고령층 환자들을 대상으로 투여할 경우 높은 비용 효익이 기대되고 (중증환자 1명 감소효과에$1,454 비용소요), 성인 환자 대상으로 투여할 경우, (molnupiravir이나 nirmatrelvir/ritonavir를 투여하지 않는) 일반 치료에 비해서 전체 입원 수요를 80% 줄일 것으로 기대된다.
Key Message
Given an expected high epidemic resurgence in 2022 that could exceed South Korea’s current health system capacity, oral treatment using nirmatrelvir/ritonavir for symptomatic COVID-19 patients may be a highly cost-effective solution if targeted to elderly patients ($1,454 per severe case averted) and substantially reduce the demand for hospital admission (80%, 188,478 patients) below the capacity of the health system if targeted to all adult patients compared to standard care.

Citations

Citations to this article as recorded by  
  • Cost-Utility Model of Nirmatrelvir/Ritonavir in Brazil: Analysis of a Vaccinated Population
    Ricardo R.A. Fernandes, Bruno M. Barros, Milene R. da Costa, Carlos A.S. Magliano, Bernardo R. Tura, Quenia Cristina D. Morais, Marisa Santos
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    Takahito Mizuno, Yu Kondo, Mikiyasu Sakai, Kenichi Saneyasu, Ryota Kojima, Yoshio Miyake
    Journal of Infection and Chemotherapy.2024;[Epub]     CrossRef
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    Terry Cheuk-Fung Yip, Grace Chung-Yan Lui, Mandy Sze-Man Lai, Vincent Wai-Sun Wong, Yee-Kit Tse, Bosco Hon-Ming Ma, Elsie Hui, Maria K W Leung, Henry Lik-Yuen Chan, David Shu-Cheong Hui, Grace Lai-Hung Wong
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    Hannah A. Blair
    Drugs & Therapy Perspectives.2023; 39(2): 41.     CrossRef
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Epidemiol Health : Epidemiology and Health