Measles Outbreak In Japan Exceeds 220 Cases

Measles outbreak in Japan exceeds 220 cases

Japanese health authorities say that the country's reported cases of measles have topped 220 so far this year, more than 70 percent of the total in 2018.

Experts say the measles virus is highly contagious, causing symptoms such as fever and skin rash. If a pregnant woman is infected it can trigger a miscarriage or premature delivery.

The National Institute of Infectious Diseases says medical facilities across the country reported 48 new cases of measles over the week until February 17. They include 24 in Osaka Prefecture, western Japan, and more than 10 in and around Tokyo.

Total number of patients since the start of this year has reached 222.

Osaka tops the list with 77, followed by Mie Prefecture with 49, and Aichi Prefecture with 20, both in central Japan. Tokyo reported 14 cases and Kyoto Prefecture, western Japan with 9.

The institute is calling on people to get vaccinated if they have no immunity. It says those who work at medical facilities or daycare centers should also be vaccinated.