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Number of RS virus sufferers highest in 11 years

11 Comments

The number of RS (Respiratory syncytial) virus sufferers has reached the highest level in 11 years. The virus can cause pneumonia in infants and young children.

According to the National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID), medical institutions nationwide reported that 6,687 people were diagnosed with the RS virus between Nov 22 and Nov 29. That is 1,200 more people compared to the week before, Fuji TV reported.

The highest number was in Osaka, followed by Hokkaido.

Symptoms are similar to the common cold, but if children younger than 6 months old get infected, it could cause pneumonia and bronchitis which can be fatal.

The NIID is asking people to make sure to wash their hands, gargle and wear face masks in order to prevent the spread of the virus.

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11 Comments
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"The NIID is asking people to make sure to wash their hands, gargle and wear face masks in order to prevent the spread of the virus"

Being somewhat sanitary is of course important, but part of the reason why we're seeing an increase in respiratory illnesses in particular is abuse of medicines and being UBER-clean when it's not necessary. I still see moms at parks using medicated wipes to constantly wash children's hands while playing, not allowing them exposure to certain germs and allowing them to develop immunity. This is only one example, of course. And we all know masks and gargling are a crock to begin with.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Masks and gargling do absolutely nothing in my opinion.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@shonanbb

While masks might have an marginal effect at preventing the transmission of certain illnesses, gargling most certainly does not. Though it will provide a bit of pain relief once you've already gotten ill with a sore throat, it won't do a shred of good at preventing anything. I even saw a doctor on Japanese TV a year or two ago on a panel show explaining that it actually doesn't do anything... and everyone on the panel gasped and basically swore allegiance to the army of garglers. At least needless gargling won't hurt anyone - the incessant use of antibacterial products on children here absolutely will. My mother in law recoils in horror every time my toddler gets messy hands and I wipe them with regular hand-wipes and not the antibacterial kind. And god forbid she seems my daughter drop her cookie on our (clean) floors and then pick it up and eat it. In her eyes, I might as well have shot her on the spot. Sigh.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Gargling is for soothing, and is useful.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/28/health/28real.html?_r=0

Masks, meanwhile, block droplets of liquid that contain viruses, though most can't block the virus itself.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

As this is a virus, taking all the antibiotics in the world will not affect your child's chance of contracting it.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Gargling is for soothing, and is useful.

Right. In addition to soothing, it may reduce the risk of spreading infection when coughing. But it probably depends on what you are gargling with. Salt and warm water is the traditional method.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I know this is kinda ironic, that I comment myself, but who of you actually thinks, posting long comments to news articles would convince anyone that you are as smart as you want them to. Even if you were doctors, no one believes it and no one cares.

PS: No one was talking about antibiotics. He said antibacterial and meant disinfecting.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

@savethegaijin

I know exactly what you mean (and I am very fond of my mother in law, but...)

It's all a matter of skewed priorities. The measure of a 'good' mother here is one who vacuums the floor on a daily basis (even when completely clean) and makes sure the child NEVER has dirty hands, gargles regularly, wears a surgical mask out in public, is given an attractive obento lunch and attends juku until late at night.

If those bases are covered the mother passes the test, which makes verbal abuse and anything else she does that is detrimental to the child's emotional health and well-being acceptable.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Smith: While I agree with your post, that same logic also applies to the over prescribing of antibiotics, especially ones used as preemptive measures.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Phiman

It's the comments section on a news website. I think it's safe to say people come here to comment on the news. Whether or not the majority of people care is irrelevant.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

PS: No one was talking about antibiotics. He said antibacterial and meant disinfecting.

My comment was made supporting SmithinJapan's "abuse of medicines" comment. More often than not, you'll have a parent go to their doctor and demand an antibiotic for their child even when the problem is a viral infection. This abuse of medicine makes the bacteria in the child more resistant to the antibiotics.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

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