The health ministry said Friday it has confirmed the first case of dengue fever outside Yoyogi Park in central Tokyo, where most of the cases seem to have originated. Total infections stood at 59.
A man in his 30s in Saitama Prefecture developed symptoms last Saturday and tested positive for the rare sickness on Friday after being tested a hospital by the National Institute of Infectious Diseases.
The man, who is in stable condition, has not traveled abroad or visited Yoyogi Park recently. The ministry said it appears he was infected in nearby Shinjuku Chuo Park, where he said he was bitten by mosquitoes somewhere between Aug. 18 and 26.
The park, less than 2 km from Yoyogi Park, is also close to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government headquarters in Shinjuku Ward. Shinjuku officials checked mosquitoes in the park with experts from the institute and started disinfecting it.
Dengue fever struck Japan for the first time in about 70 years last week, and all 59 cases are believed to have originated in or around Yoyogi Park. On Friday, Meiji Shrine closed off a pathway on the premises after the dengue virus was detected in traps set in Yoyogi.
Most of the park was closed by City Hall on Thursday, and several events planned in the area were either canceled or changed venues. Spraying work began Friday to exterminate the mosquitoes.