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Volume 18, Number 11—November 2012

Letter

Pneumonia after Earthquake, Japan, 2011

Hiroshi Takahashi, Shigeru FujimuraComments to Author , Satoshi Ubukata, Eizaburo Sato, Makoto Shoji, Mutsuko Utagawa, Toshiaki Kikuchi, and Akira Watanabe
Author affiliations: Saka General Hospital, Tagajo, Japan (H. Takahashi, S. Ubukata, E. Sato, M. Shoji, M. Utagawa); Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan (S. Fujimura, A. Watanabe),; and Tohoku University School of Medicine, Sendai (T. Kikuchi)

Main Article

Table

Characteristics of patients with pneumonia before and after the earthquake and tsunami, Japan, 2011*

Characteristic Weeks before disaster
Weeks after disaster
4–6 1–3 1–3 4–6 7–9
Patients with pneumonia, no. 26 23 83 51 38

CAP

20 19 57 39 24

HCAP


6
4

26
12
14
Isolates from sputum culture, no. (%)

Streptococcus pneumoniae

8 (30.8) 2 (8.7) 19 (22.9) 10 (19.6) 4 (10.5)

Haemophilus influenzae

4 (15.4) 4 (17.4) 27 (32.5) 8 (15.7) 4 (10.5)

Moraxella catarrhalis


1 (3.8)
0

26 (31.3)
9 (17.7)
3 (7.9)
Purulent sputum, (Geckler 4 or 5), %
14 (53.8)
10 (43.5)

51 (61.4)
24 (47.1)
16 (42.1)
Mean age, y
73.7
76.0

75.5
76.0
74.9
Location of patient at illness onset, no.

Shelter

NA NA 36 13 6

Own or friend’s home

NA NA 37 29 23

Nursing home / home visit by doctor


NA
NA

10
9
9
Patient’s hospital status, no.

New patient

7 3 32 19 20

Routinely examined at hospital


19
20

51
32
18
Rate of hospital admission, %
76.9
73.9

77.1
64.7
78.9
Deaths, no. (%)
3 (11.5)
1 (4.3)

6 (7.2)
2 (3.9)
3 (7.9)
Underlying disease, %

Respiratory disease

8(30.8) 12 (52.2) 29 (34.9) 19 (37.3) 13 (34.2)

Other

18 (69.2) 11 (47.8) 54 (65.0) 31 (60.8) 23 (60.5)

Healthy


1 (3.8)
0

8 (9.6)
5 (9.8)
2 (5.3)
Interval from onset to diagnosis, mean no. days
3.96
2.43

2.51
3.22
2.89
Antimicrobial premedication, no., % 2 (7.7) 0 4 (4.8) 11 (21.6) 3 (7.9)

*CAP, community-acquired pneumonia; HCAP; health care–acquired pneumonia; NA, not applicable.

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