The number of people suffering from infectious gastroenteritis, mainly caused by norovirus, is increasing in Japan, according to the National Institute of Infectious Diseases.
The number of patients reported by about 3,000 pediatrics departments across Japan averaged 20.89 during the week to Dec. 18, the highest for a mid-December period since 22.81 in 2006.
In 21 of 47 prefectures, the average number of patients exceeded the alert level of 20, the institute said.
The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry urges the public to wash their hands regularly to avoid infection.
Norovirus causes vomiting, diarrhea and stomach pains after an incubation period of one to two days.
By prefecture, Yamagata saw the largest patient number per institution, at 47.27, followed by Miyagi’s 34.08, Saitama’s 31.66, Miyazaki’s 30 and Toyama’s 29.24, according to the institute.
Source: Yomiuri Image: ANN