National

Dengue virus infiltrates two more parks, hitting Ueno, Shinjuku Gyoen

Kyodo

First Yoyogi Park; now Ueno and Shinjuku Gyoen.

A woman in her 20s from Saitama Prefecture is thought to have contracted the dengue virus after being bitten by a mosquito at Tokyo’s Ueno Park, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government said Friday.

It said the park, home to Ueno Zoo and several major art and science museums, will remain open to the public.

Meanwhile, the Environment Ministry reported Friday that the dengue virus had been found in a mosquito caught in Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden. However, no human infection has been confirmed among visitors.

The garden, near JR Shinjuku Station, has been closed since early this month due to its proximity to Yoyogi Park, where virus-carrying mosquitoes were first found.

The health ministry says more than 140 people have been diagnosed with the virus so far, many of whom paid a visit to Yoyogi Park since August. It is the first known outbreak in Japan since 1945.

The metro government said the woman suspected of being infected with dengue has not traveled overseas and has not been to Yoyogi Park, which is more than 8 km from Ueno.

The woman is believed to have been infected on Sept. 7, when she was bitten near a large fountain there. She developed dengue on Sept. 13, but her symptoms are not serious, the metro government said.

The metropolitan government plans to set up a warning sign at Ueno Park to alert visitors, while spraying insecticide around the bench where she was bitten and at other spots with many mosquitoes.

Ueno Park, with the zoo and museums on its grounds, draws large numbers of visitors, particularly on weekends.