National / Science & Health

Number of flu patients nationwide hits second-highest level since 1999


The number of influenza patients per medical institution in Japan in the week through last Sunday hit the second-highest level since the survey started in 1999, the health ministry has said.

The average number of flu patients at some 5,000 medical institutions across the country that are regularly monitored grew by 15.37 from the previous week to 53.91, following the record high of 54.33, marked in the previous year, the ministry announced Friday.

The total number of flu patients during the week is estimated at some 2.13 million, up by some 495,000 from the previous week.

By prefecture, Aichi saw the greatest number of patients per institution, at 81.86, followed by Saitama, at 70.03, Shizuoka, at 69.42, Ibaraki, at 68.05, and Fukuoka, at 67.18.

In all of the nation’s 47 prefectures except Aomori, Akita and Shimane, the number of patients topped the alarm level of 30, which suggests a possible outbreak of the disease.