politics

Health minister down with flu

32 Comments

Health Minister Norihisa Tamura missed the Diet session on Tuesday due to having the flu.

Officials told media that Tamura started feeling unwell after the end of a budget affairs meeting on Monday afternoon, TBS reported, adding that he received a flu vaccination.

Health authorities say Japan is in the grip of a flu epidemic. According to the the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, 1.32 million cases of flu were reported nationwide in the week to Jan 26, double the previous week.

The health 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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32 Comments
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Do we known if it was "J-bird flu"?

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

I skipped my flu vaccine this year and feel okay but that darn subways are flu incubators. I got on yesterday with the best intentions to stay healthy and this guy smelling of vomit and norovirus was literally smashed face to face with me wearing his mask. NOONE, no matter how good your immunity can stand that kind of assault!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

this guy smelling of vomit and norovirus was literally smashed face to face with me

The norovirus has a smell ???

0 ( +0 / -0 )

i associate norovirus with vomit and the other smell,,,

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Health minister down with flu - The irony of it !

2 ( +3 / -1 )

How ironic

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Im pretty sceptical of the flu vaccine, with the exception of pregnant women or those with compromised immune systems. I have never had a flu vaccine, and also never had the flu. As have all my family. All the people I have ever met who have had the flu have all been vaccinated.

I wonder if some people are more susceptible to it than others?

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Health minister missed a day,s session because of flu....and this makes news headline exactly why?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Im pretty sceptical of the flu vaccine, with the exception of pregnant women or those with compromised immune systems. I have never had a flu vaccine, and also never had the flu.

No, but you'll certainly know about it if you do. You can carry on believing that you're not susceptible, but in reality, influenza is a disease that can make any person very, very ill in a matter of hours.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Flu vaccines don't work. They compromise a healthy immune system.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

wipeout ... well the health minister got the flu jab and he was very ill too....

... bet he still goes to work tomorrow though. And infects the whole lot of them.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Flu vaccines do work, just not completely effective. On average they reduce the chance you will contract flu by about 45%. If I had to ride the subway every day I'd get one because lower chances are better than near 100%. I've had the shot for the last 25 years and never had the flu, or any "immune-compromised" symptoms. And that proves... nothing, just as NOT getting the shot and not getting flu proves nothing. OK, blast away with those Bads.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I wonder when people will start to realise that you should just stay at home when you are ill? Putting a mask on and dragging your carcase into work doesn't prove you are a good worker. It just makes you a vector of disease.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

/laugh

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I never understood Japans scare of the flu. Friends of mine who had the flu in Japan were sent to the hospital to get medicine. Here in my country you either suck it up and continue onward, or if it is real bad, lay in bed for a couple of days until it has passed. If I were to go to my doctor with the flu she would first look at me wondering why I am even there and then tell me to just ride it out. Hell, I've had the Mexican flu (that murderous thing), just slept it off with a few pills against the fever, since 41 degrees celsius is a bit much...

The common flu is hardly a threat but in Japan it is treated as extremely severe. Can anyone provide me with a clear reason for this?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Evidently the flu vaccine is ineffective.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

@Reaper

Believe me, if you can lie in bed 'for a couple of days' and then recover, that isn't flu.

Flu will knock the healthiest athlete in the world out for at least ten days. It's not like a heavy cold, not for a minute.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Flu shots don't work! Over 50% of recipients still get the flu. Wash your hands and keep your fingers out of your eyes!

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Health Minister Norihisa Tamura missed the Diet session on Tuesday due to having the flu.

He might be vitamin D deficient. Several studies have shown that high levels of vitamin D may prevent or lower the risk of influenza. Vitamin D may also reduce symptoms of influenza and reduce the risk of developing pneumonia following influenza.

In a study of Japanese schoolchildren, vitamin D supplements taken during the winter and early spring helped prevent seasonal flu and asthma attacks. ... The vitamin D group was 58 percent less likely to catch influenza A, the researchers report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

See Randomized trial of vitamin D supplementation to prevent seasonal influenza A in schoolchildren. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20219962?dopt=Citation

0 ( +1 / -1 )

From CDC:

" Overall, the vaccine's effectiveness for everyone older than 6 months was 56%, just slightly lower than the 62% that had been estimated earlier in the season. This season's vaccine contains protection against three flu strains: H3N2, influenza B and H1N1. The vaccine was 67% effective against influenza B in adults over 65 but only 9% effective against H3N2, the most prevalent strain this season, the CDC found. There were not enough H1N1 to tell its effectiveness.

When broken into age groups, the vaccine's overall effectiveness against H3N2 flu was:

6 months to 17 years, 58%.

18 to 49 years, 46%.

50 to 64 years, 50%.

65 and older, 9%."

So, maybe 50%. I haven't had a flu shot in over 20 years, nor have I had the flu.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Well, I did get the flu vaccine in November, and today was diagnosed with influenza A. Guess I wasted my money this year!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

You have to admit that the title of the report is funny for his Flu shot either did not work or it gave him the Flu :)

Last time I recieved one I ended up in hospital for 61 days.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

HEALTH minister in flu? Hahahaha.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

For the ones who selfishly think only about them re flu shot.

An epidemic is by definition a social thing. If a mean (shot) reduce the incidence, even by only 50% on an individual, it will curb down significantly the epidemic. Thus at the end of the day the total impact on the total population will be much higher and the peak might happen much later or at the very end of the flu season.

Flu shot is a social responsibility first!

But I must admit that having it in Japan is complicated and requires multi-injection, while when I was in Canada it was organized by and at the company with one shot. Done!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Wait, nobody made a joke about "TamiFlu" yet :-)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The flu shot is not for oneself but for the most vulnerable around us, like babies, elderly, …

http://www.nbcnews.com/health/dont-be-selfish-get-flu-shot-protect-most-vulnerable-bioethicist-1B7944163

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I got my flu shot. When you work in manufacturing everybody brings everything to work. But I love the irony.

On the other hand, I usually feel sick after budget meetings too....

1 ( +1 / -0 )

OK, I understand the irony of it, but is this really newsworthy?????

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Open Minded - the flus shot in Japan is only one dose. It is theoretically possible that another vaccine for a new strain could be introduced in the same season, but that doesn't happen often.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

reckless, what does norovirus smell like?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Perhaps the health minister, like many Japanese ojisans, failed to wash his hands after using the toilet

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

All my friends with flu shot get the flu and those not, don't. The flu shot has mercury in it which causes problems with the brain.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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