Since the first locally acquired dengue fever case in Japan since 1945 was reported on Aug. 27, the case count has increased to 81 in 15 prefectures, prompting Japanese health officials to close at least parts of three Tokyo parks, according to a Japan Today report today.

Aedes albopictus female mosquito feeding on a human host/James Gathany

The Health Ministry along with the Tokyo Metropolitan government have closed parts of Yoyogi, Shinjuku Gyoen and Meijijingu Gaien parks in an effort to prevent further dengue transmission. It is believed that the parks are the places where the dengue fever originated. The Tokyo government will continue spraying for mosquitoes in an attempt to eradicate them.

The last indigenous case of dengue fever was reported in Japan in 1945. Japan sees scores of imported dengue cases annually from travelers to endemic areas. In 2013, they reported 249 cases.

Dengue is transmitted by the bite of a mosquito infected with one of the four dengue virus serotypes. It is a febrile illness that affects infants, young children and adults with symptoms appearing 3-14 days after the infective bite.

Dengue is not transmitted directly from person-to-person and symptoms range from mild fever, to incapacitating high fever, with severe headache, pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pain, and rash. There is no vaccine or any specific medicine to treat dengue. People who have dengue fever should rest, drink plenty of fluids and reduce the fever using paracetamol or see a doctor. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page