national

Tokyo gov't issues influenza epidemic alert

36 Comments

Tokyo metropolitan government officials this week announced an official influenza epidemic alert within the metropolitan area -- the first time for such an alert to be issued in November since 2007.

The Tokyo government is anxious to avoid a repeat of last winter when the number of people infected with the influenza virus reached near epidemic levels, leading to a shortage of vaccine.

To prevent a recurrence this winter, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare is requesting that people start getting vaccinations now within the greater Tokyo metropolitan area.

According to the National Center for Infectious Diseases, as of Nov 23, the national average number of infected influenza patients at medical centers across Japan reached 0.94 persons, only .06 points away from meeting epidemic levels, TBS reported Saturday.

The ministry is advising people to get their flu shots, wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water, and practice general preventative measures in an effort to ward off further flu outbreaks until at least the end of February.

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36 Comments
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..and mask sales just took off with gusto!

eat well (ie. real food, cut out the processed crap) sleep well and get exercise and your immune system will look after you if you are an average person. The elderly and those with compromised immune systems need flu shots.

12 ( +12 / -1 )

wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water, and practice general preventative measures

That's a big ask for many people - especially the elderly

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

I don't understand those numbers. Is something missing?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

No shot for me.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Don't come to work sick. ha

2 ( +2 / -0 )

To each his own but I've never had a flu shot and I never will. Even the big drug company studies only show a 60% sucess rate while other studies show much lower results. I'm still amazed that in the US, they recommend EVERYONE , six months or older, should receive a flu shot EVERY year. Take a look at the exact ingrediants, you might be supprised.

3 ( +7 / -5 )

Not only influenza but the Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection (RSV) as well. Please be careful especially if you have young children.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

A friend of mine - a doctor - informs me that trying to stop the influenza virus with a mask is like trying to stop water with a net, so tiny is the virus in comparison with the weave of these masks.

But that won't stop sick people in this neck of the woods using them as a magic talisman and ganbarring their way into their offices, by way of crowded public transport.

Folks - if you're sick, stay at home. And even if you're not sick, wash your hands often. It's just common sense.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

The problem is because the influenza virus spreads VERY easily, if the strain this year is particularly strong a lot of people will get sick--and it becomes particularly dangerous in Japan given the large elderly population.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Only way to avoid epidemic: shot!

All the rest (food, mask, ...) is cowardize and selfishness vs. general population.

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

The flu is just a bad cold, to me at least, although the viruses seem to be mutating into stronger versions. The best advice is to stay at home, away from people, rest in bed, drink plenty of fluids and you'll be over it in a few days. Definitely don't go to work and spread it - that's the ultimate in selfish stupidity.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Thi past week I've noticed an increase in the proportion of Japanese wearing masks, I guess in the coming weeks we'll be seeing more and more masks...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The flu is just a bad cold, to me at least

Perhaps you've never had the flu then. Flu is not like a cold at all. I seem to get the flu once every 6-7 years. It knocks you out for at least 3 days. You're contagious for about 5. I can absolutely see how it kills the elderly and the ill. Colds suck, but you can pop some medicine and soldier on, flu however? I don't wish it on anyone.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I do not care how many thumbs down I get. The real flu (influenza) has killled 100th of millions people in the last centuries. Much more than all the wars victims added up.

And there are still idiots do not recognize the benefit of vaccination.

Young and healthy people recover from flu, but not the vulnerable ones. That is the reason why young and healthy people should get the shot: to protect the vulnerable ones. This is nothing else than being responsible in containing an epidemic.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

@HaraldBloodaxe

A friend of mine - a doctor - informs me that trying to stop the influenza virus with a mask is like trying to stop water with a net, so tiny is the virus in comparison with the weave of these masks.

A better analogy would be to try to stop water bottles with a net, that is because the influenza virus are not expelled from the body directly in the air but immersed in water droplets which of course are much bigger and able to be stopped by correct use of a mask. It the same principle that allows latex to stop the HIV even when the latex pores are much bigger than the virus.

That is not to say that wearing a mask (or washing your hands, etc.) is enough, depending on the strain the possibility of infection can still be very high so trying to be in good health and getting the flu shots goes a long way to prevent a really hard disease with frequent complications.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Unbelievable! I can only sadly realize that even most commentators HERE still believe that the "flu shots" are the almighty solution to so-called "influenza"?! When it's actually the best way to spread it! Yeah! Have the elderly and all other people with an already low or compromised immune system be injected with the wonderful cocktail of which vaccines are made, plus a nice little virus in them, then we'll be "protected"! Wake up people! And get informed, for real! (It looks like "Big Pharma" needs to get rid off another big stock of "flu vaccines", and had the Japanese government trumpet this kind of propaganda once again...Just like it does to other countries' authorities.) If they really cared about the population health and well-being, they should rather tell them how to strengthen their immune system, and avoid as much as possible "catching" those viruses. And on crowded trains, a mask IS recommended, even if it won't protect you 100%!

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Farewell: not sure if I should ignore your comment or spend some time to explain you about virus epidemics….

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Also never had one and never will. Always felt that such things actually make people weaker......masks too. If you start wearing one you always need to, in the same way that pilots tend not to wear sunglasses as they eventually make your eyes weaker.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

I get a flu shot every year because I don't want to suffer from higher fever, more terrible coughs and sneezes, etc as it may kill me. I don't want many days-off for such sickness. Preventive shot is not expensive anyway.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

My wife and kids get their flu jabs religiously every year. I don't.

My wife and kids get flu religiously every year . I don't.

Can't help wondering if there's a connexion....

3 ( +7 / -4 )

I get a flu shot every year. I haven't had the flu in 20 years except when I forgot a shot a couple times. I haven't even had a cold in five years. I used to get them all the time. For sure masks at kindergarten and quitting the elementary school are factors in me not getting colds anymore!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I have never had a flu shot and I haven't had the flu in over 20 years. I wash my hands regularly. That's all I have ever done. If I go to town and eat I wash before I eat. Once I get home before I do or touch anything I wash them again...I also wash my doorknob. If I have company during flu season...after they leave I wash down all door knobs and light switches with a mild solution of bleach. I regularly take probiotics and vitamin d drops daily. Obviously something is working ..I haven't even had a cold.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I have never had a flu shot and I haven't had the flu in over 20 years...

Now that you've said that...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

People worry about Ebola reaching Japan but don't realize that influenza kills more people in Japan every year than Ebola has ever killed. The flu shot is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your elderly or newborn neighbours.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Karen:

I regularly take probiotics and vitamin d drops daily.

We are taliking about epidemics. Are vitamin d drops daily effective as well in car crash or do you fasten your seat belt?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

An overdose of vitamin D can be very, very unpleasant. Don't overdo it....

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Getting flu shots also helps prevent the flu from spreading. If everyone got a flu shot the flu virus would have a tougher time to spread. This is perhaps why the government is asking everyone to get a flu shot. I'll get mine again this week.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Things to consider before having influenza vaccinations. In addition to mercury, flu vaccines also contain other toxic or hazardous ingredients like:

Aluminum -- a neurotoxin that has been linked to Alzheimer's disease

Triton X-100 -- a detergent

Phenol (carbolic acid)

Ethylene glycol (antifreeze)

Betapropiolactone - a disinfectant

Nonoxynol - used to kill or stop growth of STDs

Octoxinol 9 - a vaginal spermicide

Sodium phosphate

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Hope it doesn't stop the skirt epidemic

0 ( +0 / -0 )

take a half teaspoon of tubed wasabi, place it on your tongue and let it explode in your mouth, hold for 30 seconds and then wash it down with a glass of hot water and vinegar. the fumes from the wasabi will clear out your nasal passages, killing the virus and the rinse and wash down will clear the virus from the throat. this only works if you catch the virus early although it will work at any time with the cold virus

0 ( +1 / -1 )

take a half teaspoon of tubed wasabi, place it on your tongue and let it explode in your mouth, hold for 30 seconds and then wash it down with a glass of hot water and vinegar. the fumes from the wasabi will clear out your nasal passages, killing the virus and the rinse and wash down will clear the virus from the throat

I think I'd rather have the cold. ;)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Mike

the fumes from the wasabi will clear out your nasal passages, killing the virus and the rinse and wash down will clear the virus from the throat

What this is is a folk remedy which might well alleviate the symptoms for a while. But the virus isn't in the throat like a piece of candy or something; it exists and replicates inside the cells of the various tissues in the throat; you can't wash it away.

And wasabi doesn't kill viruses. Only radiation, ultra-violet light, the bodiy's immune system and sophisticated anti-viral medicines can do that. Though if it turns out you're right, you're probably in line for a Nobel prize! ; )

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Folks - if you're sick, stay at home. And even if you're not sick, wash your hands often. It's just common sense.

Been in a public toilet at any JR station recently? Nothing whatsoever resembling soap to be seen, and a load of people who seem scared to even touch the water at the basins. An anime about hand washing with some cute anime characters might have the desired effect

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Works for me

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If I want a flu shot it will cost me 3,000 yen. if I can get Taro Aso to chip in 2,000 yen, I'll think about it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I guess someone didn't like me to list the most commonly used ingrediants in Influenza vaccinations. Check for yourselves, you will find there are many more than I listed, depending on the particular formula the specific vaccine. Most adults have fully developed emmune systems, to deal with these toxins but children from six months to four year olds don't.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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