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Cablegate: Mgsf01 October 23 Update On H1n1 Outbreak in Japan

VZCZCXRO7759
OO RUEHAST RUEHDH RUEHHM RUEHLN RUEHMA RUEHPB RUEHPOD RUEHSL RUEHTM
RUEHTRO
DE RUEHKO #2445/01 2960101
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 230101Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7012
INFO RUEHZN/ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COLLECTIVE
RUEHME/AMEMBASSY MEXICO CITY 0649
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 8191
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 1533
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 7057
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 4315
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 9412
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 0875
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 7569
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 3608
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 7715
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RUEHRC/USDA FAS WASHDC 8658
RUEAUSA/DEPT OF HHS WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY IA WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHMFIUU/USFJ

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 TOKYO 002445

UNCLAS TOKYO

DEPT FOR OES/IHB AMBASSADOR LOFTIS
DEPT FOR EAP/J, EAP/EX, CA
USDA PASS TO APHIS, FAS FOR BURDETT
HHS PASS TO CDC
HHS FOR OGHA
DEPT PASS TO AID/GH/HIDN

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KFLU AEMR AESC CASC KFLO TBIO KSAF KPAO PREL PINR
AMGT, MG, EAGR, JA
SUBJECT: MGSF01 October 23 UPDATE ON H1N1 OUTBREAK IN JAPAN

REF: TOKYO 2293 and previous

TOKYO 00002445 001.2 OF 002


1. Summary: H1N1 vaccinations of medical professionals have begun
in Japan, while the disease continues to spread throughout the
country with an estimated 640,000 people with flu-like symptoms
visiting medical institutions across Japan from October 5 to 11.
More than 80 percent of these patients were minors. Twenty-eight
people have died from the virus to date in Japan, including five
children. Thousands of schools have closed temporarily and events
have been cancelled throughout the country. Reports show that the
regional economic impact of H1N1, especially on the tourism
industry, was significant this past summer. Antivirus coatings on
airport luggage carts and elevator buttons, a titanium dioxide
coated suit, and air purifiers which claim to be effective against
the H1N1 virus are among the innovative approaches to limiting
spread of the disease seen in Japan. Regional officials report the
public is wary of imported vaccine and expect vaccination rates to
drop once domestically produced vaccine runs out. End Summary.

VACCINATIONS BEGIN
------------------

2. Some local and regional authorities began vaccinating medical
workers in the past week. The Tokyo area is expected to begin
vaccinating medical professionals on October 26. In accordance with
the priority ranking in the national vaccination policy (reftel),
hospitals plan to begin vaccinating pregnant women and those with
chronic diseases, followed by infants and small children in November
and December. Parents of infants will begin receiving vaccine early
next year. Health officials announced that this schedule could be
accelerated since medical experts in Japan have agreed that a single
dose is enough for medical professionals.

LATEST INFECTION FIGURES AND THEIR CONSEQUENCES
--------------------------------------------- ---

3. The National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID) announced
that an estimated 640,000 people with flu-like symptoms visited
medical institutions across Japan from October 5 to 11, the latest
reporting period. More than 80 percent of these patients were
minors. The figures indicate a significant increase in flu
infections among elementary and junior high school students. The
total number of people infected with influenza since July totals
2.34 million, most of whom are thought to be infected with H1N1.
Twenty-eight people have died in Japan from H1N1 thus far, including
five children.

4. Based on data from a reporting network of 5000 hospitals and
clinics, Hokkaido prefecture had the highest infection rate at
nearly 40 patients per institution, followed by Aichi and Fukuoka
with 24, Kanagawa with 22, Okinawa with 20, Tokyo with 19, and Osaka
with 17.

5. 8534 schools were closed during the week of October 12, and many
school events cancelled, as infections reach established thresholds.
The Kansai regional economy lost $1.47 billion from May to August
2009 due to H1N1, with the hotel and transportation businesses
hardest hit, according to a survey by the Kansai Economic
Federation. Consulate Fukuoka, the consular district with the third
highest infection rate in Japan, reports that patients with flu-like
symptoms have waited as long as six hours to see a doctor.


INNOVATIVE MEASURES TO STOP H1N1

TOKYO 00002445 002.2 OF 002


--------------------------------

6. Innovative antivirus concepts continue to appear in Japan.
Kansai International Airport has applied a special antivirus coating
to the handles of baggage carts, elevator button panels, restroom
doors, counters, and toilet stalls in an effort to prevent the
spread of the virus. The Daikin Corporation claims that its air
purifier technology is effective against H1N1, while the Haruyama
Trading Company released a titanium-dioxide coated men's suit early
in October that it claims wards off the H1N1 virus.

7. In mid-October the Health Affairs Officer met with a number of
regional public health officials in the Kyushu region, who said that
the public is wary of imported vaccine. They expect that many will
opt not to be vaccinated with foreign-produced vaccine once
domestically-produced vaccine runs out, as it is expected to next
spring.

ROOS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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