Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was first reported at the end of 2019 in China. By the end of February 2020, the virus has spread worldwide through continuous human-to-human transmission via contact and droplet infection, demonstrating the ease with which emerging viruses disperse globally through the mass transport system. Here, we summarize our knowledge of other coronaviruses that have infected humans in comparison with SARS-CoV-2.
Because of the high mortality, recurrence, and rate of disability of stroke, a stroke prevention and treatment system was instituted in Shanghai in 2012; this system includes 11 municipal hospitals, 25 district hospitals, and 240 community health centers. Community health centers focus on early screening in the community, health management of high-risk individuals, and secondary prevention and rehabilitation of stroke patients. Residents' health profiles are utilized by community health centers to proactively identify the population at higher risk. District hospitals are responsible for screening for vascular lesions in high-risk individuals, including carotid artery and intracranial artery screening, and standardized treatment of stroke patients. Municipal hospitals concentrate on complex and emergency care for acute onset stroke. The system specifies care for all stages of stroke management. The development of the system has improved the capacity of and quality of care for stroke patients. The rate at which patients undergo intravenous thrombolysis and the percentage of patients with a door-to-needle time of less than 60 minutes have increased significantly. However, the primary and secondary prevention of stroke is insufficient, the stroke rehabilitation system is incomplete, and the quality of care in primary healthcare facilities is limited. An evaluation system and payment mechanisms are needed to incentivize healthcare personnel to fulfill their responsibilities and to ensure the system's operation.
Nearly 30% of Japanese hemophiliacs were infected with HIV-1 in the early 1980s. They have unique characteristics compared to HIV-1-infected individuals through other routes, including date of infection of 1986 or earlier, mean age of nearly 50 years, and common co-infection with hepatitis C, but rarely with other sexually transmitted diseases. Antiretroviral therapy (ART) was introduced in Japan in 1997. The clinical courses before and after 1997 were quite different. Careful analysis of the pre-1997 clinical data allowed expansion of our knowledge about the natural course and pathogenesis of the disease. Switching to the second receptor agents proved critical in subsequent disease progression. HIV-1 continued to escape immune pressure, pushing disease progression faster. In contrast, ART was effective enough to overcome the natural course. Prognosis improved dramatically and cause of death changed from AIDS-related opportunistic infections and malignancies before 1997, to hepatitis C virus-related cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) around 2010, and again to non-AIDS defining malignancies recently. In most cases, hepatitis C was cured with direct acting antiviral therapy. However, HCV progressed to cirrhosis in some cases and risk of HCC is still high among these patients. Together with improvement in anticoagulants and aging of the patients, risk of myocardial infarction has increased recently. In addition, the numbers of patients with life-style related co-morbidities, such as diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and chronic kidney disease have been also increasing. Finally, stigma is still an important barrier to a better life in HIV-1-positive individuals.
With advancement of microsurgical techniques, supermicrosurgery has been developed. Supermicrosurgery allows manipulation (dissection and anastomosis) of vessels and nerves with an external diameter of 0.5 mm or smaller. Because quality of life of cancer survivors is becoming a major issue, less invasive and functionally-better oncological reconstruction using supermicrosurgical techniques attracts attention. Conventional free flap reconstruction usually sacrifices major vessels and muscle functions, whereas supermicrosurgical free flaps can be transferred from anywhere using innominate vessels without sacrifice of major vessel/muscle. Since a 0.1-0.5 mm vessel can be anastomosed, patient-oriented least invasive reconstruction can be accomplished with supermicrosurgery. Another important technique is lymphatic anastomosis. Only with supermicrosurgery, lymph vessels can be securely anastomosed, because lymph vessel diameter is usually smaller than 0.5 mm. With clinical application of lymphatic supermicrosurgery, various least invasive lymphatic reconstruction has become possible. Lymphatic reconstruction plays an important role in prevention and treatment of lymphatic diseases following oncologic surgery such as lymphedema, lymphorrhea, and lymphocyst. With supermicrosurgery, various tissues such as skin/fat, fascia, bone, tendon, ligament, muscle, and nerves can be used in combination to reconstruct complicated defects; including 3-dimensional inset with multi-component tissue transfer.
For over 20 years, the National Center for Global Health and Medicine (NCGM), Japan has been involved in international assistance for emergency medicine and trauma management in many countries, including Bolivia, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and Mongolia. Among the NCGM activities conducted, the most important is technical assistance for the appropriate transfer of training systems and skills in life support management. In most of the target countries, the development and execution of customized simulation training suitable for each setting has successfully motivated trainees, who are healthcare workers responsible for improving emergency medical services in their home country. Moreover, the development of appropriate training systems for trainers selected from among capable participants has played a key role in the subsequent sustained conducting of training courses independent of NCGM involvement.
Lymphedema is becoming a major public issue with improvement of cancer survival rate, as the disease is incurable and progressive in nature, and the number of cancer survivor with lymphedema is increasing over time. Surgical treatment is recommended for progressive lymphedema, especially when conservative therapies are ineffective. Among various lymphedema surgeries, supermicrosurgical lymphaticovenular anastomosis (LVA) is becoming popular with its effectiveness and least invasiveness. There are many technical knacks and pitfalls in LVA surgery. In preoperative evaluation, indocyanine green lymphography is recommended for considering indication and incision sites. Intraoperatively, intravascular stenting method, temporary lymphatic expansion maneuver, field-rotating retraction, and several navigation methods are useful. The most important postoperative care is immediate compression after LVA surgery. Compression is critical to keep lymphatic pressure higher than venous pressure, allowing continuous lymph-to-venous bypass flow. These technical pearls should be shared with lymphedema surgeons for better lymphedema management.
The number of HIV-1-infected men who have sex with men (MSM) Mongolian patients started to increase steeply just before 2011. We started collaborative work with community-based organizations that promote safer sex and HIV testing for MSM since mid-2010. Since early 2013, the Mongolian Government has implemented the treat-all strategy for MSM. To determine the efficacy of these countermeasures, we established an MSM cohort in the capital of Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar, in December 2013. HIV antibody was examined at every visit by rapid test. Syphilis was also examined to monitor their sexual behavior. Clients positive for either rapid test were referred to the National Center for Communicable Diseases, Ulaanbaatar, to confirm the results and treatment. Since safer sex promotion is one of the purposes of this cohort, HIV-positive clients were also eligible to participate. A total of 849 MSM were registered and 2,409 HIV/syphilis tests were conducted until December 2017. During this period, 499 (58.8%) clients visited the testing sites repeatedly. Among the 849 clients, HIV-1 infection was confirmed in 83 at registration (prevalence of HIV-1: 9.8%). One HIV-1 seroconverter was identified (from negative to positive), resulting in incidence of HIV-1 of 0.10/100 person-years (PY). Syphilis was positive in 144 cases at registration (syphilis prevalence: 17.0%), and 53 new syphilis infection cases were diagnosed during the same period, with an incidence of 5.66/100 PY. Despite the high prevalence of HIV-1, the incidence was very low. The results suggest that countermeasures for HIV-1 prevention seem effective in this cohort, however; we still need further strategies for syphilis control.
With expanding antiretroviral therapy (ART) in Vietnam, the use of second-line ART with ritonavir-boosted lopinavir (LPV/r) is increasing. However, little is known regarding the effect of LPV/r on dyslipidemia (DL) and cardiovascular disease (CVD) in people with HIV in Vietnam. A cross-sectional study was performed in a cohort of HIV-infected Vietnamese patients on ART at the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Hanoi, Vietnam. In addition to DL, we included hypertension (HT) and hyperglycemia (HG) as non-communicable diseases. Blood pressure, casual blood sugar levels, and the lipid profile were evaluated cross-sectionally in October and November 2016. The incidence of CVD was calculated in the cohort. We determined factors associated with diseases by univariate and multivariate analyses. A total of 1,346 subjects were evaluated for their non-communicable diseases. The subjects' mean age was 39.2 years and 41.8% were women. A total of 10.5% of the subjects had exposure to LPV/r. DL, HT, and HG was diagnosed in 53.5%, 24.4%, and 0.8% of the subjects, respectively. In multivariate analysis, age (OR = 1.040; 95% CI, 1.025-1.055), female sex (OR = 0.335; 95% CI, 0.264-0.424), and LPV/r exposure (OR = 3.251; 95% CI, 2.030-5.207) were significantly associated with DL. The incidence rate of CVD was 1.87/1,000 person-years (15 incidental cases in 8,013 person-years). LPV/r exposure was not a risk factor for the incidence of CVD. Although a causative relation with LPV/r and CVD was not identified in this study, attention should be paid to CVD for patients on LPV/r in the future.
In 2015, Japan created a unique governmental program to train experts in health emergencies called Infectious Disease Emergency Specialist (IDES). This is a concept paper to set out the goal and structure of the program, and to describe the achievement and the way forward to further contribute to global health security. The IDES program background, mission, structure, achievement, and future directions were reviewed and discussed by the IDES trainees, graduates, and program coordinators/supervisors. Since 2015, thirteen Japanese medical doctors have graduated from the program while five are currently in training. The IDES core competencies were identified in the context of a wide range of skillsets required for health emergencies. A large national and global network has been created through the training. Coordinated work with surge capacity of experts is of paramount importance to prepare for and respond to public health emergencies. The IDES program can be a good model to many other governments, and contribute to global health security.
Globally, an estimated 570,000 women are newly diagnosed with cervical cancer, and 311,000 women die every year, with approximately 90% of the cases occurring in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Cervical cancer is the most common cancer in women in Cambodia, with age-standard incidence rate of 13.5/100,000 and mortality rate of 10.1/100,000. This paper introduces the educational and managerial interventions of Cambodia Cervical Cancer Project 2015-2018 by two professional societies of Cambodia and Japan. It can be categorized into three phases: health education and screening; diagnosis and treatment of precancerous lesions; and pathology service. Human papillomavirus test-based cancer screening and treatment of precancerous lesions were successfully initiated. Key factors contributed to optimal outcomes are partnership between two professional societies with strong commitment, and a comprehensive and stepwise quality-focused approach. A complementary role and joint society initiatives is a novel approach and substantial in sustainability for developing a system of cervical cancer management. This effort might serve as a good example how professional societies can contribute to capacity building and system development for prevention and control of cancer in LMICs.