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Decrease in the incidence of chlamydia infection during the COVID-19 pandemic in South Korea
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  1. Seokyoung Chang1,
  2. Sukhyun Ryu1,
  3. Dasom Kim1,
  4. Byung Chul Chun2
  1. 1Department of Preventive Medicine, Konyang University College of Medicine, Daejeon, South Korea
  2. 2Department of Preventive Medicine, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea
  1. Correspondence to Dr Sukhyun Ryu, Department of Preventive Medicine, Konyang University College of Medicine, Daejeon 35365, South Korea; gentryu{at}onehealth.or.kr

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To identify the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on chlamydia infection in South Korea, we assessed the incidence rate ratio (IRR) for three different periods (epidemiological weeks 4–19, 20–33 and 34–46) using the weekly number of chlamydia infections between January 2018 and December 2020 from Korean national surveillance (figure 1).1

Figure 1

The 2018/2019–2020 incidence rate ratios (IRR) for chlamydia infections in different genders, age groups and regions in South Korea. Error bars represent the 95% CIs of the estimated coefficients for each period. Bars coloured blue and brown represent male and female, respectively. Estimated coefficients of the 2018/2019–2020 IRRs of chlamydia infections in (A) individuals aged 20–29 years inside the Seoul Capital Area, (B) individuals aged 20–29 years outside the Seoul Capital Area, (C) individuals aged 30–39 years inside the Seoul Capital Area, (D) individuals aged 30–39 years outside the Seoul Capital Area, (E) ≥40-year-old individuals inside the Seoul Capital Area, and (F) ≥40-year-old individuals outside the Seoul Capital Area. The study period includes period 1 (epidemiological weeks 4–19), period 2 (epidemiological weeks 20–33) and period 3 (epidemiological weeks 34–46).

During the early pandemic period, overall incidence was similar to the previous 2 years (2018/2019); however, overall reduction was estimated to be 15%–30%, with a larger impact in males in the latter pandemic period.

The IRR decreased during period 2 in young adult males inside the Seoul Capital Area, possibly affected by COVID-19 outbreak from a nightclub in Seoul. The IRR largely decreased in males and females inside the Seoul Capital Area during period 3, likely caused by the ban on adult entertainment sector inside the Seoul Capital Area (from 18 August 2020 to 12 October 2020).2

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Acknowledgments

This research was conducted as a part of the project of Community Medicine and Practice 2021 at Konyang University College of Medicine, Daejeon, South Korea.

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Footnotes

  • Handling editor Anna Maria Geretti

  • SC and SR contributed equally.

  • Funding This work was supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of South Korea funded by the Ministry of Education (NRF-2020R1I1A3066471).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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