• Kyodo


A male child in Niigata Prefecture is suspected of having contracted dengue fever, the prefectural government said Sunday, in possibly another case of infection within the country.

The child, aged somewhere between 10 and 19, was hospitalized but is recovering. He is suspected of contracting the illness after being bitten by a mosquito in Yoyogi Park, a major park in central Tokyo, while there on Aug. 20, according to the prefecture.

The child was in the area as part of a school event and has no record of traveling overseas, the prefecture said.

A blood test by a prefectural organization confirmed the child has the disease. The results of another test conducted by the National Institute of Infectious Diseases is expected soon, possibly Monday.

If confirmed, he will be the fourth person to have contracted dengue fever within Japan over the past few weeks.

Separately, officials in Kanagawa Prefecture said a female teenager and a man in his 20s who are residents of the prefecture are also suspected of having dengue fever. They both visited Yoyogi Park during August.

So far, three people — a female child from Saitama Prefecture aged somewhere between 10 and 19, and a man in Tokyo and a woman in Saitama, both in their 20s — are believed to have contracted dengue fever after being bitten by mosquitoes in Yoyogi Park.

No domestic infection had been confirmed since 1945, prompting the Tokyo Metropolitan Government to attempt to eradicate mosquitoes in some sections of the park.

Dengue fever, an illness found in tropical and subtropical areas of Asia, Latin America and Africa, is transmitted by tiger and dengue mosquitoes. The disease is not transmitted directly from person to person.

Sufferers are struck with a sudden fever around three to seven days after transmission, accompanied by head and muscle pains and a rash. Most sufferers have mild symptoms, but some may develop significant bleeding, which can be life-threatening.

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