Dengue reported in Japan
After reporting the country's first domestically acquired case of dengue fever in nearly 70 years yesterday, Japan's health ministry today confirmed finding two more patients. The initial patient, a girl in her teens, had a sudden onset of high fever on 20 August and was hospitalized in Saitama City, near Tokyo. Hospital staff, suspecting dengue, on 26 August sent blood samples to the National Institute of Infectious Diseases in Tokyo, which confirmed the diagnosis.
An epidemiological investigation turned up two more patients. All three are students at the same school in Tokyo and are members of a dance group that regularly practices in a city park, leading the ministry to conclude that students were infected in the park.
Dengue is widespread in the tropics and subtropics. According to the ministry, about 200 Japanese contract the mosquito-borne viral disease each year while traveling overseas. But none of the three patients had traveled overseas. A German woman apparently acquired the virus during a trip to Japan last September. After returning to Berlin, she was hospitalized for an acute fever and rash. Blood tests later confirmed a dengue infection.
Aedes mosquito image via Shutterstock.
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