Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease Cases Still High in Japan

Society Lifestyle

Tokyo, Oct. 18 (Jiji Press)--The number of patients in Japan with hand, foot and mouth disease, a viral disease that mainly affects infants during the summer, has remained elevated in recent months.

Infection cases have been higher than the five-year average since mid-August and in early October they marked the third-highest level for the period in the past decade. The number had been falling since mid-September, but the pace of decline slowed in October.

Hand, foot and mouth disease causes skin rash on the hands and feet, as well as in or around the mouth. It also causes fever, and, in rare cases, complications such as brain fever. Its outbreak usually peaks in late July.

A report from about 3,000 pediatric departments across Japan showed that the average number of cases per hospital stood at 1.98 in the period between Sept. 26 and Oct. 2 this year, according to the National Institute of Infectious Diseases.

By prefecture, Miyagi had the highest average, at 4.67, near the threshold of 5 for issuing an outbreak warning. It was followed by Yamagata, at 3.79, Aichi, at 3.25, Aomori, at 3.24, and Fukushima, at 3.08.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press