Saturday, May 16, 2009

H1N1 vs. Kobe

1st domestic infection of new flu confirmed in Japan

The first domestic infection of the new strain of influenza virus A in Japan was confirmed Saturday, the health ministry said. The patient is a 17-year-old male high school student in Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture, who has no record of overseas travel, according to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.

Two other senior high school students from the city—one male and one female also with no record of overseas travel—have also tested positive for the new flu in local laboratory tests, according to the Kobe municipal government.

At a hastily called press conference, Yoichi Masuzoe, Japan’s health minister, said the government ‘‘will detect through aggressive epidemiological study those who had close contact with the patient to hospitalize them or to urge them to refrain from going out.’’

Prime Minister Taro Aso issued a statement in which he said, ‘‘The government is ready to take measures to prevent the expansion (of the new flu)...I hope people in Japan remain vigilant while staying calm.’’

Specimens taken from them are analyzed by the National Institute of Infectious Diseases in Tokyo, the ministry said. Japan Today...Read More...

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