Seasonal Flu Spreading across Japan

Society

Tokyo, Jan. 20 (Jiji Press)--The average number of flu patients per medical institution in the week through Sunday topped one in all of Japan's 47 prefectures, signaling the beginning of an epidemic, a health ministry survey showed Friday.

The nationwide per-institution figure came to 7.37, while it topped 10 in seven prefectures including Osaka, Ehime, Nagasaki and Kagoshima. A reading above 10 suggests a major spread of seasonal flu could occur within four weeks.

By prefecture, the per-hospital number was highest in Okinawa, at 33.23, followed by Fukuoka, at 16.96, Miyazaki, at 16.63, and Saga, at 15.79. A reading above 30 warns that a major spread is suspected to have occurred.

Seasonal flu appears to be spreading mainly in western Japan areas, including the Kyushu southwestern region.

The health ministry survey covered some 5,000 medical institutions across the country.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press