Tokyo metropolitan government health officials have issued an influenza epidemic warning, labeling the capital as a high-risk area.
According to health officials, in the week from Jan 20 to Jan 26, each hospital in the metropolitan area saw an average of 29.7 patients suffering from influenza-related symptoms, TBS reported. Although the criteria for an outbreak to be labeled as an epidemic is usually an average of 30 people per medical institution, Tokyo officials believe that the aforementioned number of infected patients is near enough to warrant an official public warning.
Meanwhile, 1.32 million cases of flu were reported nationwide in the week to Jan 26, double the previous week, the National Institute of Infectious Diseases said.
The ministry is advising people to get their flu shots, wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water, and practice general preventative measures in an effort to ward off further flu outbreaks until at least the end of February.