Flu infection rates surge to record high across Japan
NHK -- Feb 02
Japan is facing another winter flu crisis with a record-high average of 57.09 patients diagnosed last week with the ailment per medical institution conducting flu tests, the health ministry said Friday.

The figure for the seven days through Sunday compares with last winter’s weekly peak of 54.33 and was the highest since comparable data became available in 1999, the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry said.

Around 2.23 million people are estimated to have been diagnosed with influenza during the reporting period, up about 100,000 from the previous week, it said.

The patients include 3,205 who were hospitalized, with 628 in severe condition. Both numbers were higher than the peaks last winter of 2,050 and 379, respectively.

The total number of patients this season is estimated to have reached around 7.64 million. The most common viruses detected were the type-A strain that caused a pandemic in 2009, and the type-A Hong Kong strain, the ministry said.

The data is based on reports by some 5,000 designated medical institutions throughout the country.

News source: NHK
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