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      Immediate Psychological Responses and Associated Factors during the Initial Stage of the 2019 Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Epidemic among the General Population in China

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          Abstract

          Background: The 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) epidemic is a public health emergency of international concern and poses a challenge to psychological resilience. Research data are needed to develop evidence-driven strategies to reduce adverse psychological impacts and psychiatric symptoms during the epidemic. The aim of this study was to survey the general public in China to better understand their levels of psychological impact, anxiety, depression, and stress during the initial stage of the COVID-19 outbreak. The data will be used for future reference. Methods: From 31 January to 2 February 2020, we conducted an online survey using snowball sampling techniques. The online survey collected information on demographic data, physical symptoms in the past 14 days, contact history with COVID-19, knowledge and concerns about COVID-19, precautionary measures against COVID-19, and additional information required with respect to COVID-19. Psychological impact was assessed by the Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R), and mental health status was assessed by the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS-21). Results: This study included 1210 respondents from 194 cities in China. In total, 53.8% of respondents rated the psychological impact of the outbreak as moderate or severe; 16.5% reported moderate to severe depressive symptoms; 28.8% reported moderate to severe anxiety symptoms; and 8.1% reported moderate to severe stress levels. Most respondents spent 20–24 h per day at home (84.7%); were worried about their family members contracting COVID-19 (75.2%); and were satisfied with the amount of health information available (75.1%). Female gender, student status, specific physical symptoms (e.g., myalgia, dizziness, coryza), and poor self-rated health status were significantly associated with a greater psychological impact of the outbreak and higher levels of stress, anxiety, and depression ( p < 0.05). Specific up-to-date and accurate health information (e.g., treatment, local outbreak situation) and particular precautionary measures (e.g., hand hygiene, wearing a mask) were associated with a lower psychological impact of the outbreak and lower levels of stress, anxiety, and depression ( p < 0.05). Conclusions: During the initial phase of the COVID-19 outbreak in China, more than half of the respondents rated the psychological impact as moderate-to-severe, and about one-third reported moderate-to-severe anxiety. Our findings identify factors associated with a lower level of psychological impact and better mental health status that can be used to formulate psychological interventions to improve the mental health of vulnerable groups during the COVID-19 epidemic.

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          Most cited references 13

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          Clinical features of patients infected with 2019 novel coronavirus in Wuhan, China

          Summary Background A recent cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan, China, was caused by a novel betacoronavirus, the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). We report the epidemiological, clinical, laboratory, and radiological characteristics and treatment and clinical outcomes of these patients. Methods All patients with suspected 2019-nCoV were admitted to a designated hospital in Wuhan. We prospectively collected and analysed data on patients with laboratory-confirmed 2019-nCoV infection by real-time RT-PCR and next-generation sequencing. Data were obtained with standardised data collection forms shared by WHO and the International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infection Consortium from electronic medical records. Researchers also directly communicated with patients or their families to ascertain epidemiological and symptom data. Outcomes were also compared between patients who had been admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) and those who had not. Findings By Jan 2, 2020, 41 admitted hospital patients had been identified as having laboratory-confirmed 2019-nCoV infection. Most of the infected patients were men (30 [73%] of 41); less than half had underlying diseases (13 [32%]), including diabetes (eight [20%]), hypertension (six [15%]), and cardiovascular disease (six [15%]). Median age was 49·0 years (IQR 41·0–58·0). 27 (66%) of 41 patients had been exposed to Huanan seafood market. One family cluster was found. Common symptoms at onset of illness were fever (40 [98%] of 41 patients), cough (31 [76%]), and myalgia or fatigue (18 [44%]); less common symptoms were sputum production (11 [28%] of 39), headache (three [8%] of 38), haemoptysis (two [5%] of 39), and diarrhoea (one [3%] of 38). Dyspnoea developed in 22 (55%) of 40 patients (median time from illness onset to dyspnoea 8·0 days [IQR 5·0–13·0]). 26 (63%) of 41 patients had lymphopenia. All 41 patients had pneumonia with abnormal findings on chest CT. Complications included acute respiratory distress syndrome (12 [29%]), RNAaemia (six [15%]), acute cardiac injury (five [12%]) and secondary infection (four [10%]). 13 (32%) patients were admitted to an ICU and six (15%) died. Compared with non-ICU patients, ICU patients had higher plasma levels of IL2, IL7, IL10, GSCF, IP10, MCP1, MIP1A, and TNFα. Interpretation The 2019-nCoV infection caused clusters of severe respiratory illness similar to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus and was associated with ICU admission and high mortality. Major gaps in our knowledge of the origin, epidemiology, duration of human transmission, and clinical spectrum of disease need fulfilment by future studies. Funding Ministry of Science and Technology, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, National Natural Science Foundation of China, and Beijing Municipal Science and Technology Commission.
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            Psychosocial and coping responses within the community health care setting towards a national outbreak of an infectious disease

            Objective The psychological and coping responses of the noninfected community towards infectious disease outbreaks are relatively understudied. This cross-sectional study sought to determine the prevalence of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-related psychiatric and posttraumatic morbidities and associated coping styles within the general population visiting community health care services. Methods It was conducted on individuals attending community polyclinics in Singapore within the first week of July 2003, 16 weeks after the first national outbreak of SARS. The General Health Questionnaire-28, Impact of Event Scale-Revised, and Brief COPE were used to determine the prevalence rates of psychiatric and posttraumatic morbidities and employed coping strategies respectively. Results The overall response rate was 78.0%. Of the 415 community health care setting respondents, we found significant rates of SARS-related psychiatric (22.9%) and posttraumatic morbidities (25.8%). The presence of psychiatric morbidity was associated with the presence of high level of posttraumatic symptoms [adjusted odds ratio (OR) 2.26, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.24–4.13, P=.008]. Psychiatric morbidity was further associated with being seen at fever stations (adjusted OR 1.90, 95% CI 1.08–3.34, P=.026), younger age (adjusted OR 0.97, 95% CI 0.94–0.98, P=.021), increased self blame (adjusted OR 1.67, 95% CI 1.22–2.28, P=.001), less substance use (adjusted OR 0.74, 95% CI 0.56–0.98, P=.034) and posttraumatic morbidity was associated with increased use of denial (adjusted OR 1.31, 95% CI 1.04–1.67, P=.024), and planning (adjusted OR 1.51, 95% CI 1.16–1.95, P=.002) as coping measures. Conclusion These findings could potentially inform the development of practical community mental health programs for future infectious disease outbreaks.
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              The Rate of Underascertainment of Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Infection: Estimation Using Japanese Passengers Data on Evacuation Flights

              From 29 to 31 January 2020, a total of 565 Japanese citizens were evacuated from Wuhan, China on three chartered flights. All passengers were screened upon arrival in Japan for symptoms consistent with novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) infection and tested for presence of the virus. Assuming that the mean detection window of the virus can be informed by the mean serial interval (estimated at 7.5 days), the ascertainment rate of infection was estimated at 9.2% (95% confidence interval: 5.0, 20.0). This indicates that the incidence of infection in Wuhan can be estimated at 20,767 infected individuals, including those with asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic infections. The infection fatality risk (IFR)—the actual risk of death among all infected individuals—is therefore 0.3% to 0.6%, which may be comparable to Asian influenza pandemic of 1957–1958.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Int J Environ Res Public Health
                Int J Environ Res Public Health
                ijerph
                International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
                MDPI
                1661-7827
                1660-4601
                06 March 2020
                March 2020
                : 17
                : 5
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, Faculty of Education, Huaibei Normal University, Huaibei 235000, China; wcy@ 123456chnu.edu.cn (C.W.); riyu0402@ 123456chnu.edu.cn (R.P.); wming624@ 123456sina.com (X.W.); 977367tan@ 123456sina.com (Y.T.); lgb@ 123456chnu.edu.cn (L.X.)
                [2 ]Department of Psychological Medicine, National University Health System, Kent Ridge 119228, Singapore; su_hui_ho@ 123456nuhs.edu.sg
                [3 ]Department of Psychological Medicine, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Kent Ridge 119228, Singapore
                [4 ]Institute of Health Innovation and Technology (iHealthtech), National University of Singapore, Kent Ridge 119077, Singapore
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence: pcmrhcm@ 123456nus.edu.sg
                Article
                ijerph-17-01729
                10.3390/ijerph17051729
                7084952
                32155789
                © 2020 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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