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New-flu cases appear in, near Tokyo

Two cases of the new strain of influenza were confirmed in Tokyo and Kawasaki on Wednesday night, local government officials announced.

Both cases involved female students who attend the same high school in Kawasaki and who traveled together from the United States, where they took part in an event in New York. They marked the first infections found outside the Kansai area, except those found during quarantine inspections at Narita Airport in Chiba Prefecture.

According to Senzoku Gakuen High School in Takatsu Ward, Kawasaki, the girls arrived at Narita Airport on Tuesday, after returning from a trip to New York that began on May 11.

Gene testing by the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Public Health confirmed that a 16-year-old female high school student from Hachioji, western Tokyo, had contracted the new flu, according to Tokyo metropolitan government officials.

Separately, the Kawasaki city government also announced Wednesday that a 16-year-old female student living in the city was confirmed to have contracted the flu.

Though the Hachioji student reportedly developed a fever of 39 C during the flight, she tested negative to preliminary testing for both Type A and B flu and was allowed to return home by bus and other transportation, according to the Tokyo government officials.

The girl stayed home until she visited a special outpatient department of a Hachioji hospital for people experiencing flulike symptoms, such as high fever, and was hospitalized there Wednesday morning, they said.

The Tokyo government will start tracking down those who had close contact with the students through local public health centers, the officials said.

The cases in Tokyo and Kawasaki brought the number of people infected with the flu as of 11 p.m. Wednesday to 267, including four found at Narita Airport.

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Flu carrier found in Shiga Pref.

OSAKA--A 23-year-old Otsu man was confirmed infected with the new strain of influenza Wednesday, marking the first case of the new virus to have been reported outside Osaka and Hyogo prefectures.

A 25-year-old female clerical staff member of a hospital in Kobe also was confirmed to have contracted the new flu.

According to the Shiga prefectural government, the 23-year-old man, a student studying at Ritsumeikan University's Biwako-Kusatsu Campus in Kusatsu in the prefecture, had lodged at the house of a relative in Kobe since Friday and had returned home Monday morning. He reportedly developed a high fever Sunday night and visited a special outpatient department for people with flulike symptoms on Tuesday. He was given Tamiflu and now has a normal temperature, the sources said.

In response to the confirmation of the new flu patient in the prefecture, the Otsu municipal government decided to close public primary and middle schools as well as kindergartens and nursery schools in the city for a week. The Shiga Prefectural Board of Education also decided to close prefectural high schools until Tuesday.

(May. 21, 2009)
AP News
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