Infectious Disease Risks Haunting Japan in Olympic Year

Society Lifestyle Sports

Tokyo, Jan. 24 (Jiji Press)--Japan faces rising risks of infectious diseases being carried in from abroad, as more than 40 million people are expected to visit the country in 2020, when the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics will be held.

While the outbreak in China of pneumonia believed to be linked to a new strain of coronavirus has emerged as a new source of concern, Japan's National Institute of Infectious Diseases has identified measles, invasive meningococcal disease (IMD), Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli infection as infectious diseases that require caution during the 2020 Tokyo Games, after studying factors such as how contagious they are and whether there is a risk of group infections.

Measles is spreading in the Philippines and other places. Japan was verified in 2015 by the World Health Organization as having achieved measles elimination but continues to see group infections due to imported cases.

In 2015, four people from Scotland and elsewhere were infected with IMD at an international scouting event in Yamaguchi Prefecture, western Japan. Another infection case was reported last year after the Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Although rare in Japan, IMD is one of the infectious diseases that people must exercise vigilance against, according to the Japanese Association for Infectious Diseases.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press