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CNN, AP, others hype Japan H1N1 spread

Posted by feww on May 20, 2009

submitted by a colleague in Japan

Facts about the A(H1N1) Virus spread in Japan

Japan Health Minister: swine flu no more virulent than seasonal influenza

Japan’s Health, Labor and Welfare Minister, Yoichi Masuzoe, announced earlier the government is relaxing swine flu countermeasures because the “swine flu” is now believed to be ” no more virulent than seasonal influenza.”

“Quarantine inspections for the new swine flu on incoming flights will be scaled down now that the virus is spreading rapidly on a person-to-person basis, health minister Yoichi Masuzoe said Tuesday.” Asahi Shimbun reported.

Fashionable Face masks from Japan. A human-like robot is photoed wearing a face mask. Image sourced from Lets Japan Market Mode, and may be subject to copyright.

Image sourced from Lets Japan Market Mode, and may be subject to copyright.

As of 9 p.m. Tuesday [local time] the number of people infected by the virus had risen to 191, including a 1-year-old girl in Kobe, Kansai region, Japan.

“We won’t do away with the precautions entirely, but we will gradually reduce (them),” Masuzoe told a news conference.

“Masuzoe also indicated that Japan would move to stage three of its action plan to treat the virus this week, based on the possibility that infections have reached epidemic proportions in Japan.

“The government’s influenza countermeasures headquarters proposed measures for local bodies such as closing schools and maintenance of medical systems, starting on Saturday, when the first case of the influenza at a location other than a port of call was confirmed. However, following the sudden spread of infections, measures by local bodies have started to affect residents, with Hyogo and Osaka prefectures closing junior high and high schools for one week. Fears have also started to emerge that institutions designated to handle infectious diseases may face a lack of beds.

“Responding to the situation, Masuzoe said, “We want to implement measures based on local bodies’ opinions that unless we take a response similar to that of seasonal influenza, cities will cease to function properly.” His comments indicated that there was a need to switch to measures that took into consideration the influenza’s weak virulence.” Mainichi Japan reported.

“Concrete measures include recommending that light cases of the influenza be treated at home in order to secure hospital beds for serious cases, and sending doctors who had focused on quarantine measures back to their medical fields.”

The minister said observations of people returning to Japan from countries such as Canada, Mexico and the US, where large numbers of infections were reported, would be scaled down because many people in Hyogo and Osaka prefectures are already infected.

“Masuzoe said that the source of infections in Japan remained unknown, and it was better to act on the presumption that the influenza has become widespread. He said it was important to ensure that the virus did not spread and that no deaths occurred. He added that closing schools early over a wide area was an effective measure, and asked for understanding from residents.”

“In a nationwide meeting of governors prior to the news conference, Osaka Gov. Toru Hashimoto said schools could not be closed forever, and added that Osaka could not function unless there was a change in the government’s approach. Tokyo sought a greater focus on measures to fight the virus in Japan rather than on quarantine measures, saying that there were already 10,000 people in the capital who had possibly come into contact with the influenza and are under health observation.” Mainichi said.

For latest information on the spread of A(H1N1) flu virus [swine flu] see:

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One Response to “CNN, AP, others hype Japan H1N1 spread”

  1. […] Fox News, CNN and All Google partners (Fire-Earth believes that Google delays listing of many blog posts on the […]

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