Tokyo closes park seen as local source of dengue

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Associated Press

Posted on September 5, 2014 at 2:00 AM

Updated Friday, Sep 5 at 2:01 AM

TOKYO (AP) — A popular park in downtown Tokyo has been closed temporarily after dozens of cases of dengue fever were contracted by people who visited the area.

Health minister Yasuhisa Shiozaki on Friday urged the public to remain calm, but said all local governments would be given guidelines on how to identify and handle dengue, which is spread only by mosquitoes.

Dengue is endemic in much of tropical Asia and there are dozens of cases brought back to Japan each year, but health officials recently confirmed the first locally transmitted cases in 65 years. As of Thursday, the number of infections was reported at 55.

Dengue causes symptoms including fever, severe joint pain and headaches. There is no treatment, and some of those infected can suffer from severe and life-threatening bleeding.

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