• Kyodo News


A 6-year-old boy living in Chicago has become the first Japanese national confirmed to have caught the new strain of flu, Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone said Friday.

Meanwhile, a boy in Hokkaido who visited the United States last month tested negative for the new flu, while two men who arrived later Friday at Narita airport from Detroit tested positive for type A influenza. Further tests were expected to be performed.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamura said the boy in Chicago is recovering, and added the government expects to receive a report on the health conditions of his close kin.

The Chicago boy, who goes to a local kindergarten on weekdays and a Japanese school on Saturdays, was taken to a hospital Tuesday with a fever above 38 and was confirmed to be infected with the new flu Thursday, Foreign Ministry officials said.

His fever subsided after he was treated with Tamiflu, according to the officials.

His family told the Japanese Consulate General in Chicago of the infection, the officials said, adding that they are not infected.

Given the incident, the Japanese school canceled all Friday and Saturday classes.

Information about the health of other kindergartners and Japanese students was not immediately available.

The number of people to be confirmed with infection could rise significantly in Illinois because the state is reinforcing steps to detect the new virus, according to the consulate.

No cases of the new flu have been confirmed yet in Japan.

But there have been a number of people returning from trips abroad during Golden Week who tested positive for influenza A and later tested negative for the new strain.

The Hokkaido boy had preliminarily tested positive for both the influenza A and B viruses, and the Hokkaido Institute of Public Health conducted a further exam to determine whether he is infected with the H1N1 subtype of influenza A.

Hokkaido officials said the boy visited Arizona from April 17 to 30 and arrived at Narita airport on a flight from Los Angeles.

His mother and grandmother, who traveled with him, have not developed flu symptoms.

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