Number of young flu patients surges
The Okinawa Infectious Disease Surveillance Center announced Jan. 16th that the number of flu patients under 19 years of age has suddenly increased to twice of that of other age groups.
The Center issued flu warning on Jan. 10, and since then the count has continued to rise. Officials at the center say the epidemic has now reached an alarm level in Naha City. On the 2nd week of January, there were 1,154 flu patients, which is 394 more than last year.
According to Center officials, the highest count of patients suffering from the seasonal flu is in Naha City, followed by the southern Okinawa, Miyako Island, central Okinawa, Yaeyama and northern Okinawa. Especially, the number of children who have caught the flu is increasing. Children between 1 and 4 years of age number most with a total of 204 cases, 165 are 5 to 9 years old, 10 to 14-year-olds number 113, and 98 are 15 to 19 years old.
Officials at the Okinawa Infectious Disease Surveillance Center expect the count to continue to increase because of the start a new semester at schools. They advise citizens to take precautions by using facemasks, washing hands and gurgling.