PRO/AH/EDR> Respiratory disease outbreak – Japan: (TK) COVID-19, influenza


A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases

Date: Fri 15 Sep 2023
Source: The Asahi Shimbun [edited]

Experts warned that simultaneous outbreaks of COVID-19 and influenza
are occurring in Tokyo schools, disrupting many schools and forcing
classes to be canceled.

“There are concerns that infections will spread from schoolchildren to
older, more vulnerable generations,” they said in a Tokyo metropolitan
government liaison conference on 14 Sep 2023.

The conference, held at the Tokyo metropolitan government building,
focused on measures to tackle infectious diseases.

On the same day, the metropolitan government released the infection
data for the week of 4-10 Sep 2023.

A total of 417 regularly monitoring medical institutions reported 6824
COVID-19 patients that week, averaging 16.36 COVID-19 patients per
institution. The previous week, the figure was 17.01.

These numbers are close to those in December of last year [2022], the
peak of the 8th wave, which reached 19.78 COVID-19 patients per
institution at its height.

Additionally, a total of 2481 influenza patients were reported from
417 institutions between 4-10 Sep 2023. They averaged 5.95 patients
per institution, up from 2.95 patients the previous week.

The figure significantly exceeds the threshold of one patient per
institution, which officially constitutes the start of an outbreak.

According to the Tokyo metropolitan government, influenza typically
spreads from December to March, but the number of cases currently
appearing, well outside the typical flu season, is unusually high.

The impact is already being felt in Tokyo schools. From 4-10 Sep 2023,
53 public schools in Tokyo canceled classes due to influenza

Meanwhile, the metropolitan government also announced that its medical
system policy for COVID-19 will see some changes starting in October
[2023]. Officials will stop securing accommodation facilities
specifically for elderly and pregnant COVID-19 patients, and will stop
arranging hospitalizations through public health centers.

However, the consultation services for COVID-19 patients will remain
available after October [2023].

[Byline: Natsuno Otahara]

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