Ducks found dead in Fukushima confirmed with highly lethal flu virus

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.

Number of new flu patients surging since New Year’s

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.

Foreign Tourists not landing in Japan

The number of foreign tourists who visited Japan in 2009 plunged 18.7 percent from the previous year to 6.79 million, the first fall in six years, due to the global recession and the spread of the H1N1 strain of influenza in Asia, the Japan National Tourism Organization said Monday.

In 2009, the largest number of foreign tourists came from South Korea at 1,587,000, followed by Taiwan at 1,024,000 and China at 1,006,000. The top three rankings remained unchanged from a year earlier.

Interestingly, while the number of tourists from most countries declined, those from China rose 0.6 percent to hit a record high because Japan eased regulations and began issuing tourist visas to some Chinese individuals in July.

Photo by: OiMax

Swine-Flu no match for Japanese Technology! Protective H1N1 Suit for sale in Japan!

Swine-Flu just got a new enemy! Japanese Technology!

According to a new press release from Haryama this suit is no ordinary suit. It’s coated with titanium dioxide–a chemical commonly used in toothpaste– see the back for ingredients–that breaks down when reacting with light and supposedly kills the H1N1 virus upon contact. So how long does this suit last before it’s out of gas? Well..The company says the suit will retain its protective capability even after being washed multiple times. But, who’s going to dry clean a protective suit when you know what it’s covered in?

The suits go on sale Thursday and in four colors and styles, including medium gray, charcoal, navy, and a gray pinstripe and running about $600 bucks–Not bad for a good suit, especially a minty flavored toothpaste suit that keeps you fresh and clean. It’s unclear if there will be a female counter-part of the suit and it’s unknown if the suit will be on sale in the U.S, but I’m sure something along these lines will thread itself together soon.

According to the World Health Organization, more than 340,000 people have been infected with H1N1 worldwide; the disease is responsible for 4,100 deaths. Generally, most of the new cases were reported to take place in urban areas, where population density increases the risk of transmission.