KAWASAKI (Kyodo) Another student who took part in a school trip to Canada has swine flu, the fourth confirmed case in Japan, the health ministry said Sunday.
The 16-year-old boy was on board the same flight as a teacher and two other students who were confirmed Saturday as Japan’s first cases of the H1N1 influenza A virus.
Another 48 passengers and crew who were on the Northwest Airlines flight that arrived Friday at Narita International Airport via the U.S. are being monitored at a hotel near the airport for 10 days.
The health ministry is conducting followup checks on 164 other people on the flight who stayed in Japan. The flight had a total of 409 passengers and crew members.
Of the passengers still in Japan, authorities were unable to contact three foreigners as of Sunday afternoon.
One is a young American boy who was scheduled to be at the U.S. Yokota Air Base in western Tokyo on Sunday.
The others are a British woman in her 40s and French man in his 20s staying at hotels.
The latest student to get swine flu, who attends the same high school in Neyagawa, Osaka Prefecture, as the two other students, initially tested negative for the virus, but a detailed test by the National Institute of Infectious Diseases later detected the H1N1 strain.
He has been isolated at a different hospital in Chiba Prefecture from the three other patients. His temperature, which was around 38 degrees as of Saturday afternoon, was back to normal as of Sunday, and he was in stable condition, hospital officials said.
Six other students on the same flight who initially tested negative for swine flu also underwent further tests, but none was found to have the disease.
According to the Osaka prefectural board of education, the student arrived at Narita from Detroit on Friday afternoon together with the three infected passengers — a 46-year-old teacher and two 16-year-old students — after staying in Oakville, Ontario, from April 24 on a school trip.
During quarantine inspection after landing, the student exhibited no flu symptoms but later complained of fever and coughing after being taken to a hotel for medical monitoring. He was among 49 people subject to medical monitoring, including 33 who traveled with the three confirmed cases on the school program.
Of the 49, seven — the male student and six female students — were taken to three hospitals in Chiba Prefecture to be examined for infection with the new flu after developing such symptoms as fever, coughing and a sore throat since arriving at the facility.
The World Health Organization has added Japan to its list of countries that have reported laboratory confirmations of swine flu.
No break from school
OSAKA (Kyodo) Three high schools in Neyagawa, Osaka Prefecture, will send study materials to their students being kept under observation for signs of swine flu since arriving at Narita International Airport on Friday.
Officials at the Osaka prefectural board of education said Sunday the materials will allow the students to study on their own while they are under quarantine.
The students will also get letters of encouragement, the officials said.
The board has decided to dispatch herapists to the schools to alleviate concerns among students and the parents of children who went on the school trip to Canada.
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