Influenza patients top warning level

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The health ministry said Wednesday that the number of influenza patients per medical institution reached 11.17 in the week through Dec. 30, exceeding the warning level of 10, which suggests the possibility of an outbreak occurring in four weeks.

The figure was up by 3.12 from the preceding week, according to reports from about 5,000 regularly monitored medical institutions.

Based on the reports, the total number of flu patients at medical institutions across the nation in the reporting week is estimated at some 446,000, the ministry said.

By prefecture, the number of patients per institution was the highest in Hokkaido, at 32.07, followed by Aichi, at 30.45, Gifu, at 20.33, Kumamoto, at 14.53 and Mie, at 13.68.

Of the flu viruses detected in patients in the last five weeks, type A, which spread globally as a new type in 2009, accounted for the largest share, followed by type-A Hong Kong strain and type B.Speech

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