• Kyodo


A recent series of accidents involving fainting by individuals infected with the influenza virus is prompting experts to stress the importance of getting a proper amount of rest.

At around 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, a 37-year-old woman who was on her way to work was struck and killed by a train after she fell onto railway tracks at Nakameguro Station on Tokyo Metro’s Hibiya Line, according to the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department. She had been waiting at the front of the queue on the platform and apparently became unable to stand.

A test detected the presence of the flu virus in her body, leading the police to believe her fall may have been caused by her condition and possible poor health.

Nobuhiko Okabe, who heads the Kawasaki City Institute for Public Health, said whether the accident was triggered by a flu infection remains unclear.

“A high fever could make one feel groggy and unable to walk straight,” Okabe said. “We recommend that people with this condition refrain from going out as much as possible and have a good rest.”

In Saitama Prefecture the same day, a sixth-grade boy who took sick leave from an elementary school in the city of Tsurugashima due to flu was injured after falling from the third floor of the apartment building where he lives, according to the city’s education board and other sources.

The accident was not life-threatening, they said.

“It is necessary for us not to leave patients alone and to monitor their condition,” said Okabe.

He also noted that people who have had the flu previously could be infected with a different strain of the virus, so people should be careful.

“I want them to prevent the infection by washing hands and wearing masks,” he added.

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