Situation update of identified cases and responses in Japan-9
May 21, 2009
More cases have continuously been reported from two prefectures, Hyogo and Osaka. Also, three prefectures (Kanagawa, Shiga and Tokyo) reported one case each. As of 9 am, May 21, 2009, a total of 210 confirmed cases have been reported from Japan to WHO in accordance with the International Health Regulation 2005. One hundred and thirty-two cases are reported from Hyogo, 73 are from Osaka and one from Shiga. Four cases were reported from the Narita Quarantine Station. Cases from the metropolitan area (Kanagawa and Tokyo) are to be reported to WHO immediately. Epidemiological investigations are ongoing to clarify the transmission route and epidemiological links between the cases. Public health interventions that were already implemented include school closure and advice for cancelling or postponing of large public gatherings.
The increase in the number of patients in Hyogo and Osaka is overwhelming the capacity of the public health laboratory, and some of the local and national authorities decided not to test all patients suspected for the disease by PCR, resulting in the possible underestimation of the actual cases in these areas. These areas are also waived for the mandatory hospitalization of the confirmed cases. A considerable number of confirmed or suspected cases have been taken care of at home, which is a so-called “home quarantine”.