Number of influenza cases reaches 4,000

People in Okinawa Prefecture are sneezing in the grip of a flu epidemic in increasing numbers, according to data compiled by Okinawa Prefecture Health Promotion Division, as the number of influenza cases in the prefecture surpassed 4,000 as of Feb. 2. The division based its numbers on information collected from 58 medical facilities within the prefecture.

According to the data covering the fifth week of the year from Jan. 27 to Feb. 2, the number of cases totaled 4,001, which is 1.3 times the number of a week before. This is the third highest number in the last 10 years.

Most flu patients were in the southern part of Okinawa’s main island, followed by Yaeyama Island, Naha City and central Okinawa. Since December up to the beginning of February, six schools from kindergarten to high schools have been temporarily closed completely, while 58 classes in other schools have also been temporary closed down because of the flu epidemic.