The outbreak of measles in Japan continues with 33 additional cases reported in the week of Feb. 18-24, according to the National Institute of Infectious Diseases in Tokyo.

Image/Robert Herriman
Image/Robert Herriman

This brings the total to 258 cases in the first eight weeks of 2019.

Osaka prefecture has reported the most cases with 94, followed by Mie (50) and Aichi (25).

In Mie Prefecture, where the outbreak started from the beginning of 2019, multiple measles cases (secondary infection) were reported from the participants of a meeting which was held in December 2018. After that, cases were reported from among contacted persons such as family members, or at hospitals and schools.

In Osaka Prefecture, where they reported more cases than Mie Prefecture, multiple outbreaks have occurred. It was reported that the sales person of shopping facility had measles, and the patient spread measles to colleagues and customers in February 2019.

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Most of the cases were locally acquired, while some were acquired outside Japan. 88 percent of patients were either unvaccinated, status unknown or undervaccinated.

As of February 21, 2019, 73 cases of measles virus genetic information were sent to the Infectious Agents Surveillance System. The genotypes detected were: 69 (95%) D8, 3 (4%) B3 and 1 (1%) Not typed.