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Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Dengue Fever in Yoyogi Park


Japan has been shocked by the news that dengue fever has returned to the Land of the Rising Sun after supposedly having been eradicated 70 years ago.

Yoyogi Park, Tokyo.
Frisbee fun in Yoyogi Park, Tokyo

And Tokyo has been shocked by the fact that it happened in the heart of the metropolis, in the beautiful, sprawling Yoyogi Park - a hive of activity of all sorts every day of the week (see Instagram video below!)

To blame has been the dramatic rise in international travel, making disease more easily communicable, and global warming, which saw a particularly hot, humid summer in Japan this year.

Yoyogi Park has a large pond - now drained in the wake of the dengue crisis - that is surmised to have been the main spot for the dengue-infested mosquitoes to breed.

Yoyogi Park is not closed, but signs are prominently posted at the gates requesting that people wear long sleeves and trousers, and be watchful for mosquitoes. Wholesale spraying of Yoyogi Park has also been taking place to eradicate the pests.

22 people in Japan have been infected so far - all of them via Yoyogi Park. Dengue fever is caused by a virus, and there is no vaccine. However it is fatal in no more than about 1 case out of 20. The only surefire measure is eradication of mosquito habitats, as is happening all-out at Yoyogi Park right now.

"Beat it": Fun times in Yoyogi Park

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