Is this something that Japan and the world should be concerned with?
As the first global health blog this month, we will look at something that policy makers are panicking about internationally.
Overview of the disease
Dengue fever is a vector-borne infectious disease spread through the bite of a female mosquito. It is a viral infection, which is dependant on the bodies own immunity and possible antivirals to treat if infected.
Why that previous line? Simply put, anti-biotics would be as helpful as taking candy- it would do nothing.
Why the panic and the drill in Tokyo? The incidence of Dengue has increased and due to poor health-care systems in LDCs (Least developed countries- the modernisation of 3rd world countries) the actual numbers of victims (incidence) globally has increased bringing with this a higher morbidity and mortality rate (morbidity is the rate of disease in a population while mortality is the death rate).
There are incidence of Dengue in the Philippines and Thailand- whose populations share close political and economic ties with Japan. What has got Japanese policy makers worried is the world converging on Tokyo next year.
If a major outbreak were to occur, the response from Japanese preparations would be underwhelming. There is information in Japanese from the NIID (National institute of infectious diseases 国立感染症研究所 Koku-ritsu-kan-sen-shou-ken-kyuu-jou) about the principles of treatment for dengue (which is treatment of the symptoms with a 1% mortality rate).
The Japanese policy on dengue can best be summed up by:
It is important to take countermeasures in areas where mosquito bites are common.Translated by author
Or prevention is better than cure! There are no outbreak plans I have found- just use repellent and treat what we can.
So while nothing has been said on the Dengue fever drill in Tokyo, possible to keep people calm about the possibility of occurance, it is still important to keep in mind the possibility of occurance.
After all, Zika Virus (from the Rio Olympics) is still a major problem but it is no longer in the public’s mind. Out of site, out of mind after all.
Thank you for reading the first of my international health posts and happy exploring.
The best sources I have found for this is Japanese is:
- https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/dengue-and-severe-dengue (in English)