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Shifts in the epidemic season of human respiratory syncytial virus associated with inbound overseas travelers and meteorological conditions in Japan, 2014-017: An ecological study

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Wagatsuma, K, Koolhof, IS ORCID: 0000-0002-9923-7416, Shobugawa, Y and Saito, R 2021 , 'Shifts in the epidemic season of human respiratory syncytial virus associated with inbound overseas travelers and meteorological conditions in Japan, 2014-017: An ecological study' , PLoS One, vol. 16, no. 3 , pp. 1-14 , doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0248932.

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Abstract

Few studies have examined the effects of inbound overseas travelers and meteorological conditions on the shift in human respiratory syncytial virus (HRSV) season in Japan. This study aims to test whether the number of inbound overseas travelers and meteorological conditions are associated with the onset week of HRSV epidemic season. The estimation of onset week for 46 prefectures (except for Okinawa prefecture) in Japan for 4-year period (2014–2017) was obtained from previous papers based on the national surveillance data. We obtained data on the yearly number of inbound overseas travelers and meteorological (yearly mean temperature and relative humidity) conditions from Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) and Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), respectively. Multi-level mixed-effects linear regression analysis showed that every 1 person (per 100,000 population) increase in number of overall inbound overseas travelers led to an earlier onset week of HRSV epidemic season in the year by 0.02 week (coefficient -0.02; P P P < 0.01), respectively. Additionally, models that included the number of travelers from individual countries (Taiwan, South Korea, and China) except Australia showed that both the number of travelers from each country and meteorological conditions contributed to an earlier onset week. Our analysis showed the earlier onset week of HRSV epidemic season in Japan is associated with increased number of inbound overseas travelers, higher mean temperature, and relative humidity. The impact of international travelers on seasonality of HRSV can be further extended to investigations on the changes of various respiratory infectious diseases especially after the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Wagatsuma, K and Koolhof, IS and Shobugawa, Y and Saito, R
Keywords: respiratory syncytial virus, transmission, epidemic, outbreak
Journal or Publication Title: PLoS One
Publisher: Public Library of Science
ISSN: 1932-6203
DOI / ID Number: 10.1371/journal.pone.0248932
Copyright Information:

Copyright: © 2021 Wagatsuma et al. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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