Flowers in Japan

Outbreaks of Influenza H1N1 in Japan

On May 9, the Japanese government announced that Japanese high school students and a teacher who returned from Canada were infected with Influenza Type A, H1N1. On May 17,  the number of new-flu cases in Japan has reached 163 after 67 more infections were confirmed Monday in Osaka and Hyogo prefectures, while many in the area reported symptoms of the flu in a sign that suggests that the influenza may be starting to spread on a full scale.

Prime Minister Taro Aso called on the public to remain calm. The spread of the new H1N1 strain of influenza A has prompted more than 4,000 schools in the two western Japan prefectures to close or consider closing, affecting more than 1.4 million pupils.

At this stage, a spread of the virus between human beings has not been confirmed within Japan yet, and there is no need to take an overreaction. However, everyone must still be alert and closely watch the recent news about the pandemic. When a further spread of the virus between human beings has been reported within Japan and/or any government policy has been made, the activities in the public place should be limited as possible.

1.  There is no reason to panic. Please get accurate information. This is the season when many people suffer from flu infections, so there is no reason to assume that any illness is the new flu(Type A H1N1). For accurate information, please check with the:

Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare Organization (Japanese only)
Quarantine station of Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare Organization (Japanese only)
Infectious Disease Surveillance Center (IDSC)
Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Japan
WHO Influenza A(H1N1)
Center for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) H1N1 flu(Swine Flu)

2. In case of you are not feeling well, please take the following steps:

① If you have had contact with someone from the infected areas and you have a high fever or cough,
→ Please consult the
“Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare Organization Telephone Consulting Office”
Tel 03-3501-9031 (9:00 – 21:00)

② If you are diagnosed as having “general flu”, do not return to public activities until you get permission from a doctor.

3. Traveling Abroad and Returning from Abroad

Follow the instructions of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare
Organization for traveling to and returning from abroad.

4. Prevention of infection

* Wear a mask of nonwoven fabric on the way to/from public place..
* Gargle often and wash your hands with soap.
* Get enough sleep and eat healthy meals.

Emergency Notice on the Pandemic Influenza

To those who live in Kanagawa, this is the official announcement from the government.
To check the details, visit Kanagawa Prefecture official site. Download the complete version with phone list here.
Other prefectures should have the same level of response.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has raised its alert level of the pandemic influenza (swine influenza) to Phase 5 based on the situation that the flu virus further spread from human to human, and outbreaks of the influenza are witnessed in larger groups.

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Measures taken by Tokyo City on Influenza A (H1N1)

Source: Bureau of Social Welfare and Public Health, Headquarters of the Governor of Tokyo, Bureau of General Affairs

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government is providing  the following services to Tokyo residents regarding  information on Influenza A (H1N1):

Those who have entered Japan from affected areas within the past 10 days and have flu-like symptoms (such as fever of over 38°C/100.4°F,  coughing and sore throat) are requested to call one of the Tokyo Hatsunetsu Centers (Consultation Services for People with Fevers) that have been  set up at public health centers in Tokyo for consultation.
(Please note that services are in Japanese only)

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Japanese writing system

There are three main types of written characters in Japan: kanji, hiragana and katakana. Roman letters are also used, but to a much lesser extent.

Kanji characters are ideograms which were brought in from China. On the basis of the Chinese and Japanese readings of these characters a system of phonetic manyogana characters was devised. This in turn was simplified int the hiragana and katakana systems in about the ninth century. The characters of the hiragana and katakana systems represent single syllables. Each system presently has 46 characters.

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Influenza A (H1N1) QandA

This is an official explanation about the swine influenza aka H1N1 Influenza from Tokyo City government

Q  What are the human symptoms of Influenza A(H1N1)?
A  Symptoms such as fever, lethargy, loss of appetite, and coughing are seen. There are also patients who complain of symptoms including a runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Q   How does Influenza A(H1N1) spread?
A The virus is transmitted from person to person, through contact with saliva droplets (coughing or sneezing) or with contaminated surfaces and materials, including hands, toys, plates, glasses, computer keyboards, telephones, door handles, bathroom faucets and other daily living utensils.

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