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Health ministry says flu season has officially begun

18 Comments

The Ministry of Labor, Health and Welfare on Friday officially announced that the influenza season has begun in Japan and that citizens should prepare themselves.

According to the ministry, in the week from Jan 4 to Jan 10, 5,000 medical centers across Japan reported a total of 9,964 influenza patients, averaging about 2.02 cases per hospital, Fuji TV reported.

The highest number of cases were reported in Okinawa, followed by Akita, Niigata, Hokkaido and Chiba prefectures, the ministry said.

As soon as the average number of cases reported rises above the 1.00 official standard average, the ministry judges that the influenza season is in full effect.

This year is the latest in nine years for the flu season to be officially announced. The ministry is expecting the peak season to occur from now until mid-February.

Citizens are being advised to wear protective face masks when in public areas, receive flu shots and thoroughly wash their hands. In particular, schools and facilities for the elderly across Japan are promoting a flu prevention campaign.

Gargling, which used to be recommended as a preventative measure against cold or flu viruses, has been discouraged. A health ministry spokesperson said that there is no clear evidence of gargling’s effectiveness against catching influenza type illnesses.

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18 Comments
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Does that mean we're allowed to catch flu now ?

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Now Japan has five seasons (!)

6 ( +8 / -2 )

But remember to go into work and infect everybody else- no days off work for you now!!!!!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Citizens are being advised to wear protective face masks when in public areas, receive flu shots and thoroughly wash their hands.

As for the latter, I'm not holding my breath

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Does that mean we're allowed to catch flu now ?

It means that if you were feverish, with a cough, sore throat, stuffy nose, muscle aches, headache and fatigue before this announcement, it couldn't have been the flu. ;)

4 ( +7 / -3 )

"Officially" begun, lol. How Japanese.

Perhaps a misunderstanding, though not helped by the article. One from last year gives a better idea.

http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/tokyo-govt-issues-influenza-epidemic-alert

When the average per hospital of infected influenza patients is 2, it is officially classified as an epidemic. From the number quoted in the article, what is now occurring meets the definition of an epidemic, a point that does arrive most years, but obviously not always at the same time. The flu season would already have started at an earlier point, again based on an average number of patients per hospital. Different countries have their own way of counting it: in Britain, an epidemic is declared when 400 people per 100,000 are infected.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

there's nothing wrong with getting sick, it's how long it lasts and how severe. It's easier for example when you are allowed to take time off work. You don't get "troopers" who come in when they're not well just because they're afraid of management.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Wash your hands! After you ride the bus or train, don't touch your face until you've done so.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

A health ministry spokesperson said that there is no clear evidence of gargling’s effectiveness against catching influenza type illnesses.

Maybe not, but it sure makes my throat feel good...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I'm not holding my breath

Boom, Tish.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Well, thanks for letting us know. I feel so much better knowing its official. I wonder how many of this year's flu victims have had shots from that company that has been scamming everyone for decades. I have long known that flu shots don't work, which is why I have never had one. I haven't had the flu in twenty years either. Just wash your hands regularly and keep your fingers out of your nose and eyes.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

DisillusionedJan. 15, 2016 - 07:01PM JST - flu shots only works on the ones that are known, and the reason a lot of people get the flu is because they mutate all the time. So in theory the flu shot works, but not on the new mutated strains.

Anyways happy hunting everybody. I plan to stay outside this season ;)

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Flu shot is definitely recommended. Best is to get the new Fluquadric vaccine if available. Many Doctors play the innocent and only prescribe the commonly available Flutriadric type. Fluquadric contains the B/Brisbane component, supposedly looking after the B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus .

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The highest number of cases were reported in Okinawa,

Down here there is no "flu" season per say anymore, it's now common for people to catch the flu any time of the year.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Sounds a bit like the Olympic opening ceremony with the anthems and all the protocol stuff.

Or maybe it's an inappropriate translation (hopefully).

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I have long known that flu shots don't work, which is why I have never had one.

Agreed

Just wash your hands regularly and keep your fingers out of your nose

It is unfortunate that many many businessmen on the trains are unable to do the latter. Fingers crossed we don't have a major outbreak this year

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I wonder how many of this year's flu victims have had shots from that company that has been scamming everyone for >>decades.

They are probably millions buying vaccine shot from that scamming company I suppose, might be a good business after all, since that flu comes every year ...perfectly timed.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

"Officially" begun, lol. How Japanese.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

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