Dengue fever hits Tokyo beauty spot
05 September 2014 09:29
Yoyogi Park: one of Tokyo's most popular parks has seen some visitors contract dengue fever
Visitors to one of Tokyo's favourite public parks have fallen victim to a crippling viral disease.
Japan's health ministry reports that 11 tourists have contracted dengue fever during a visit to Yoyogi Park.
This brings the number of sufferers during the country's only outbreak of the illness since 1945 to 47.
Wednesday's (September 3) announcement comes a week after the first case was reported in a teenage female.
The outbreak is currently very limited and travellers can give themselves peace of mind by booking travel insurance before they travel to Asia. This is particularly important for those travelling with ongoing health problems - pre-existing medical travel insurance can be arranged.
Mosquitoes spread the fever, which can also bring severe muscle and joint pain, rashes and life-threatening bleeding.
The outbreak's source has been pinpointed to Yoyogi Park.
People who think they may have contracted the illness are being warned to seek medical help.
Everyone who has suffered the fever is stable, with only some staying in hospital, says the ministry.
Government officers have sprayed more than 200 gallons-worth of insecticide in the park and began trapping its mosquitoes to see if they are spreading fever. Warning signs have been erected.
Health minister Norihisa Tamura has advised locals and tourists to stay calm, playing down fears the number of fevers could mushroom.
Dengue fever factfile:
- dengue fever is endemic across 110 countries
- there is no successful vaccine against the virus, but it can be treated with rest, copious fluid intake and paracetamol
- symptoms include bad fevers which can hit 41C or 105.8F, headaches, and pain of the eyes, joints, muscles and bones
- see your doctor within a fortnight of returning home if you think you may have dengue fever
- dengue normally goes away of its own accord in between 7-14 days
- prevention best comes in the form of 24/7 mosquito repellent and protective clothes
- a total of 343 people from England, Northern Ireland and Wales reported having dengue in 2012 - most of them returning from sub-tropical and tropical areas