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Non-pharmaceutical interventions for COVID-19 reduced the incidence of infectious diseases: a controlled interrupted time-series study

Infect Dis Poverty. 2023 Mar 9;12(1):15. doi: 10.1186/s40249-023-01066-3.


BACKGROUND: Non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) have been implemented worldwide to suppress the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). However, few studies have evaluated the effect of NPIs on other infectious diseases and none has assessed the avoided disease burden associated with NPIs. We aimed to assess the effect of NPIs on the incidence of infectious diseases during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and evaluate the health economic benefits related to the reduction in the incidence of infectious diseases.

METHODS: Data on 10 notifiable infectious diseases across China during 2010-2020 were extracted from the China Information System for Disease Control and Prevention. A two-stage controlled interrupted time-series design with a quasi-Poisson regression model was used to examine the impact of NPIs on the incidence of infectious diseases. The analysis was first performed at the provincial-level administrative divisions (PLADs) level in China, then the PLAD-specific estimates were pooled using a random-effect meta-analysis.

RESULTS: A total of 61,393,737 cases of 10 infectious diseases were identified. The implementation of NPIs was associated with 5.13 million (95% confidence interval [CI] 3.45‒7.42) avoided cases and USD 1.77 billion (95% CI 1.18‒2.57) avoided hospital expenditures in 2020. There were 4.52 million (95% CI 3.00‒6.63) avoided cases for children and adolescents, corresponding to 88.2% of total avoided cases. The top leading cause of avoided burden attributable to NPIs was influenza [avoided percentage (AP): 89.3%; 95% CI 84.5‒92.6]. Socioeconomic status and population density were effect modifiers.

CONCLUSIONS: NPIs for COVID-19 could effectively control the prevalence of infectious diseases, with patterns of risk varying by socioeconomic status. These findings have important implications for informing targeted strategies to prevent infectious diseases.

PMID:36895021 | DOI:10.1186/s40249-023-01066-3

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