A pair of tufted ducks found dead earlier this month in a water reservoir in Fukushima Prefecture have been confirmed to have had a highly virulent type of the H5N1 strain of avian influenza, the prefectural government said Wednesday.
The virus found in the northeastern prefecture is quite similar to the highly lethal, highly pathogenic virus discovered in a wild duck in Hokkaido last October, according to an official at the Environment Ministry.
The ministry will raise the alert level and beef up surveillance within the 10-kilometer radius of the reservoir. The ministry and the prefectural government will also conduct on-site inspections of nearly 60 local poultry farms in four municipalities.
Read the rest of the story: Ducks found dead in Fukushima confirmed with highly lethal flu virus.
A Japanese technology firm on Tuesday unveiled a mirror-like thermometer that can identify a person who is feverish.
"Thermo Mirror," which looks like a table mirror, measures the skin temperature of the person looking into it, without the need for physical contact, said the firm, NEC Avio Infrared Technologies.
The person’s temperature is displayed on the surface, and the device has an alarm that will beep when detecting a subject who is feverish.
Read the rest of the story: Japanese firm invents mirror to spot the flu.
Japan’s authorities are warning of an outbreak of the new H1N1 strain of influenza in the country, with the number of patients surging since the onset of New Year.
The National Institute of Infectious Diseases suggested that those in their 20s, 30s and 40s as well as infants aged less than 5 get vaccinated early, as the number of new flu patients in these age groups was relatively small in last season.
"The new flu is beginning to spread on a full-fledged scale," Yoshinori Yasui, a senior researcher at the institute’s Infection Disease Surveillance Center, said.
"The new influenza can cause even adults to develop pneumonia that can become serious rapidly, so we want people to go to see doctors without delay if they develop some symptoms of the new flu," Yasui said.
Cases of the type-A Hong Kong influenza were initially the mainstream shortly after the influenza season came into full force late last year.
Read the rest of the story: No. of new flu patients surging since New Year’s onset.