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Flu bug attacks parts of Okinawa

Date Posted: 2007-03-22

A nasty strain of influenza virus is sweeping across central and southern Okinawa, forcing closure of a few public schools.

The Prefecture Health Improvement Section has issued warnings, even as the number of cases rose 234 last week, to 2,138. Classes have been suspended and schools closed as a result, including a junior high school in Naha City, a junior high school in Goza, and two primary schools in central Okinawa.

Officials say the number of cases at reporting points in southern Okinawa are double the average. Sixty-three new cases were reported last week at each health center, compared to 53 in central Okinawa. The official acceptable standard is 30 cases.

Doctors and health officials are encouraging more stringent safety precautions, including more frequent and thorough hand washing to slow the transfer of the influenza virus.

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