Locally Transferred H1N1 Cases Verified in Kobe Japan

May 16, 2009

At least one case (possibly 3 at the time of this writing) cases of H1N1 influenza have been verified in Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture. The significance of these cases is that none of the high school students involved have been abroad recently, thus the flu must have come through a source in Japan. (The other cases were students from Osaka, but those students were quarantined near Haneda Airport in Tokyo.)

The overreaction of the government is to close schools for a week in the area where the student lives, the area in which he goes to school, and areas he passes through. The underreaction aspect of this is that they are only closing schools in the wards through which the student has passed, not cities. Therefore (again, as of this writing) Chuo Ward, Nada Ward, Higashinada Ward, and Akashi City schools will be closed for a week.

If they are truly worried about contamination, maybe they should be concerned with other kids from his school that live in, or pass through other parts of the city… or the various festivals going on around town today.

We’ll see if they either extend the week off to schools throughout the prefecture, or come to their senses and let the flu be the flu.


1 h1n1 virus May 16, 2009 at 11:42 am

This is a big deal, people who say ‘quit fear mongering’ are part of the potential problem. Another huge problem is the fact that most people go to work sick (they save sick days for doing fun stuff). For every person who says ‘oh there are hundreds of thousands of cases of regular flu per year, no need to worry” – well you need to use your brain for something more than figuring out when to say FTW or fail.

2 jay May 16, 2009 at 12:52 pm

I’d like to see all the schools canceled or none. Now the news is talking about hundreds of people showing signs of the flu in Kobe… we probably won’t know for sure until the morning news. Closing schools in three small wards (no natural barriers separating or dividing wards) is like paying lip service to a potential flu epidemic. If the government doesn’t think it’s a big deal, then they shouldn’t close any schools. I also feel bad for the Osaka high school students that were locked up in a hotel in Tokyo for 10 days to prevent the spread that’s spreading now.

3 jay May 16, 2009 at 11:42 pm

Just an update… there are three more confirmed cases at a different high school and different ward (Hyogo Prefectural Hyogo High School in Nagata Ward) in Kobe. The first student (Kobe High School in Nada Ward) with H1N1 reportedly played in a volleyball tournament, and officials fear H1N1 could have spread widely from there. There are also an increasing number of cases and possible cases coming out of Osaka now.