• Kyodo


The number of people infected with the respiratory syncytial virus reported by 3,000 medical institutions with pediatric wards in Japan reached a record 5,495 in the week of Nov. 24 to 30, a research institute said Tuesday.

It was the highest weekly figure since the National Institute of Infectious Diseases began to compile such reports in 2003.

While the virus causes common coldlike symptoms like fevers and coughing among adults, babies and elderly people infected with the virus could develop serious symptoms of bronchitis and pneumonia.

As RSV spreads mainly through coughing and sneezing, the health ministry is calling on the public to take preventive measures, such as washing hands and wearing facial masks, and disinfecting toys and handrails babies touch on a daily basis.

By prefecture, Hokkaido accounted for 376 people infected with the virus, the highest, followed by 341 in Saitama, 340 in Tokyo, 317 in Osaka and 315 in Aichi.

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