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Dengue fever in Japan 2007/7/25 00:22

I was wondering about the current news of Dengue-fever cases been increased great deal this year. The "WHO" released warning-note for travellers about this matter yesterday.

My question is: How safe places are Tokyo, Osaka, Himeji, Kioto, Miyajima and Hiroshima in this matter and do I really need to sleep in my Ryokan under a mosquito net? How causious should one be?

Thank you for your replies in advance.
by Curious_visitor  

. 2007/7/29 04:47
You shouldn't be cautious at all. I never heard of this fever before then I just researched it and if you look at the data and maps Japan isn't even indicated as a place to catch it.
by John rate this post as useful

dengue fever 2007/7/29 04:56
a split second search in google showed that Japan isn't one of the country affected.
It never ceases to amaze me that so many tourists don't know that Japan is one of the most advanced country in the world ! whether it is health care, electronics, trains and many other things,, Japan is way ahead of the USA and many other places!.
by Sensei 2 rate this post as useful

. 2007/7/29 05:06
I think that there are many diseases and things that hit asia such as SARS etc, people are overley cautious and want to make sure. Of course Japan is advanced in health care, sanitation etc, but things can still happen. However I think sometimes people are overly cautious or worry tooo much.
Japan is ahead is some aspects but not everything is 100% perfect, but those items are another discussion.
by John rate this post as useful

diseases 2007/7/29 07:10
The people who think they need a Japanese encephalitis vaccination before coming to Japan are always funny, although I suppose it could be understood because of the name...
by Sira rate this post as useful

I agree 2007/8/2 03:29
I've been to Japan each year for the past 3 years, and am planning another trip in January, and vaccinations, etc. never once crossed my mind. I merely assumed the best because Japan is not a 3rd-world nation. Not that stuff doesn't happen, but I figured if something did happen, I was in a good place.
by aurora rate this post as useful

measles, not dengue 2007/8/2 09:00
Measles is one illness which Japan lags well behind other developed countries in controlling- to the point where a number of schools were closed temporarily this years because of measles outbreaks.

Don't worry about dengue or J. encephalitis, but do make sure you were vaccinated against measles as a child.
by Sira rate this post as useful

Japanese encephalitis 2007/8/7 12:12
Hi Sira. I like your postings, so this is not meant as criticism, but only information. According to the Daily Yomiuri (July 24, 07, pg. 3) The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry is warning parents with children aged 4 or younger to protect children from mosquitos because of Japanese encephalitis. In some areas, especially in Chugoku, Shikoku, and Kyushu regions, 80% or more of pigs have been found to have the virus. Apparently JE is a recommended vaccine in Japan, but not pushed because there can be serious side effects from the shot. This article stuck in my mind because I didn't realize that JE was found in Japan, either. The good news is that only a small percentage of people infected with the virus develop the disease.
by M rate this post as useful

J encephalitis 2007/8/7 12:37
Interesting info, M. Who is recommending the vaccination for Japan? The World Health Organisation? I ask this because I always get updated on travel vaccinations when I go back to my home country as I spend a lot of time in India and SE Asia as well as Japan.

My doctor in NZ is fairly up to date on travel medicine and she has never recommended I have the J encephalitis vaccination in the 12 years or so since I started coming to Japan.

I certainly don't doubt you, but I wonder if it is a recent thing?

I have also never heard of anyone coming down with the disease among all the people I know here in Japan, so I have to think the danger isn't that high even for residents, let alone for visitors.
by Sira rate this post as useful

Jul 24 2007/8/7 12:39
Ah, I see you put the date and it was just a couple of weeks ago. So it is here, but I still have to think that the average visitor is at a pretty low risk. Thanks for the info!
by Sira rate this post as useful

... 2007/8/7 13:48
If I read the article right it's one of the vaccines the Ministry of Health... recommends for children, BUT the ministry told local health officials not to push that vaccine because of side effects. A spokesman for the ministry said a better vaccine should be out in about 3 years. But because so few children are getting the vaccine, the ministry issued the warning to parents of children under 4 years. I agree that catching JE is unlikely in Japan, and that a vaccine would not be advised for most people. I, like you, did not realize that JE even existed in Japan.
by M rate this post as useful

風引いちゃうよ! 2007/8/7 15:54
(kaze hiichau yo!) a common phrase I heard while in Japan which means, you'll catch a cold!
I don't know what is it about getting a cold in Japan, but they were a lot worse than the colds I'm used to in America. Instead of worrying about a disease from a mosquito, I'd worry about Japanese colds! Bring your own cold medicine for sure. Just in case.
The cold medicines sold on the shelves (even in medicine stores) are not as strong as the ones you can buy at home. In order to get the stronger medicines, you'll have to visit a doctor. So i suggest bringing your own over the counter meds including IBUprofin, Immodium, Gas-X, Nyquil, or any other medicine for common sickness you think you'll encounter.

I remember this one time I had a cold there, it was one of the worst colds I have ever had. My throat and nose were incredibly dry. I did everything I could to give myself some humidity, including heating up water with the electric "kettle" and breathing in the steam from a cup in the middle of the night. It was a rough, sleepless night. I didn't have my own cold medicine and their medicine didn't do much help.
by Miko rate this post as useful

Japanese colds 2007/8/7 16:22
It's the "foreign colds" that always seem worse.

I live in Japan, and of the last 2 really bad colds I've had I caught the first one in Ireland and the second one in Nepal.

I've heard that it's perhaps not so much that the cold viruses in other countries are stronger as that each country has different ones. In the country you live in you are exposed to those viruses little bits at a time and hopefully build up a resistance to those strains, whereas when you go to another country your system is totally unfamiliar with that country's cold viruses so they can hit you hard- especially when combined with dry, air-conditioned plane cabins and jetlag.
by Sira rate this post as useful

JE 2007/8/7 16:25
I think visitors should only get vaccinated for JE if they intend to stay in the aforementioned farm areas for long periods of time.

The only thing I was vaccinated for before coming to Japan (from Australia) was a Measles booster, especially seeing how it affected most of the Universities here.

Other vaccinations were just catchups, but none were 'just for Japan'.
by Denton rate this post as useful

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