The dengue fever outbreak in Japan appears to have spread beyond the two Tokyo parks, Yoyogi Park and Shinjuku Chuo Park, as a newly diagnosed patient reports not visiting either popular Tokyo park, according to a Japan Times report today.
Health officials say the man traveled outside the country and gene sequencing of the virus found in the man is the same as those found in those who got infected in Yoyogi and Shinjuku Chuo parks. Officials scramble to determine where the man contracted the mosquito borne virus.
The Japan Ministry of Health reports the total case count is now up to 74. The first locally acquired case was reported on Aug. 27, the first since 1945.
Dengue fever is a disease caused by any one of four closely related dengue viruses (DENV 1, DENV 2, DENV 3, or DENV 4). The viruses are transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito.
The principal symptoms of dengue fever are high fever, severe headache, severe pain behind the eyes, joint pain, muscle and bone pain, rash, and mild bleeding (e.g., nose or gums bleed, easy bruising). Generally, younger children and those with their first dengue infection have a milder illness than older children and adults.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates there may be 50–100 million dengue infections worldwide every year. However, new research from the University of Oxford and the Wellcome Trust, using cartographic approaches, estimate there to be 390 million dengue infections per year worldwide.