While Wednesday marks one year since Japan downgraded COVID-19 to a lower-risk infectious disease category that includes seasonal influenza, the country has faced a larger-than-usual number of unseasonal outbreaks of other infectious diseases over the past year.

Infectious disease experts are urging people to implement basic infection prevention measures, such as hand washing, as their immunity to pathogens other than the coronavirus is believed to have weakened during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In line with the COVID-19 downgrade in May 2023, Japan stopped counting all COVID-19 cases nationwide and began receiving COVID-19 case reports from about 5,000 designated medical institutions.