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Wednesday, 27th February 2008
In General Japan News,

Measles infections continue to grow

The number of individuals who have become infected with the measles virus in Japan is continuing to grow.

With the total number of infections reaching 2,119 on February 20th, a report by the Japan Times has described the outbreak as an "epidemic".

Infection statistics have been obtained from a preliminary report published by the National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID).

"If nothing is done, the infection is highly likely to spread further in March and April," said Yoshinori Yasui, the chief researcher at the Infectious Disease Surveillance Centre, a division of NIID.

With almost half of all of those infected between the ages of ten and 19, the outbreak is being primarily blamed upon insufficient levels of the measles vaccine.

As measles transmission is possible through respiration and physical contact with the fluids of the nose and the mouth, the disease is highly contagious.

Symptoms can include a runny nose and red eyes.