Date
13 December 2017
A worker sprays insecticide at the Yoyogi Park, one of the largest open spaces in Tokyo. Photo: AFP
A worker sprays insecticide at the Yoyogi Park, one of the largest open spaces in Tokyo. Photo: AFP

Japan battles first dengue fever outbreak in 70 years

Japan is fighting its first outbreak of dengue fever in seven decades, with at least 34 people having contracted the disease.

Among the victims of the mosquito-borne disease are two young models who apparently got it while on assignment at the Tokyo park.

The two women — Saaya, 20, and Eri Aoki, 25 — were sent to Yoyogi Park last month for the Saturday variety show on which they appear, Agence France-Presse said, citing a Nikkan Sports report. A few days later, both came down with a temperature.

The health ministry has confirmed that all the 34 patients had visited Yoyogi Park, a popular green spot in the crowded city.  Workers have sprayed about 800 liters of pesticide in the area in a bid to control the spread of the disease.

Dengue fever, which is carried by the Tiger mosquito, was stamped out in Japan at the end of World War II, even though the mosquito breed remains endemic, the news agency said.

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CG

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