Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Dengue Fever Grips Japan...

A little melodramatic as a title I have to admit. A month ago the first cases of Dengue Fever occurred in Tokyo since the end of WWII. It seemed to originate from Yoyogi Park, the main open expanse in central Tokyo, a little like Central Park in Manhattan or Hyde Park in London. The theory is that someone carrying the disease brought it back from overseas and was then bitten in the park infecting the mosquitos there. And since then it's been steadily spreading across Japan.

The fact that it could be eradicated in 1945 with all the hardships and constraints on resources the country was experiencing speaks well for the chances this time around as well. However, it's not pleasant for those who contracted it and you have to be impressed it was identified at all considering it hasn't been around for nearly seventy years.

And so people are beginning to avoid anywhere where mosquitos are known to inhabit. Yoyogi is closed, a friend's building in Shinjuku is only allowing entrance through a side door avoiding a garden harbouring the insects. And this morning I found it very easy to get coffee at my local Starbucks. Normally at 8.00AM on a pleasant summer morning I wouldn't be able to get a seat. But today, there wasn't much competition.

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