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Ahead of Olympics 2020, Tokyo Comes Up with Unique Way to Keep Dengue Virus at Bay

On Monday, about 160 people, including staff from the National Institute of Infectious Diseases participated in the training exercise at Shinjuku Gyoen.

News18.com

Updated:September 3, 2019, 4:01 PM IST
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Ahead of Olympics 2020, Tokyo Comes Up with Unique Way to Keep Dengue Virus at Bay
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As Tokyo prepares for 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, disaster training is being conducted at the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden in Tokyo Monday onwards to keep dengue virus-infected mosquitoes at bay, The Japan News reported.

On Monday, about 160 people, including staff from the National Institute of Infectious Diseases participated in the training exercise at Shinjuku Gyoen. During the exercise, the participants used a method called “human decoy” in which a person stands in place for eight minutes to attract mosquitoes. They then sprayed insecticide around mosquito concentration points to confirm whether the insects would be eliminated or not.

Notably, dengue causes fever, headache and joint pain three to seven days after being bitten by a mosquito carrying the virus. In rare cases, the disease is severe and life-threatening.

A common fever in Philippines and Malaysia, the dengue fever has resulted in some deaths. In 2014, for the first time in Japan in 69 years people without travel histories to these countries became infected with the virus. Dengue virus was detected in mosquitoes collected in parks in Tokyo, but has not been detected in mosquitoes in Japan since then.

Shinji Kasai, a senior researcher at the institute, spoke to NHK World Japan and said they will confirm whether adequate preparations have been made before next year's Tokyo Games.

Severe dengue (previously known as dengue hemorrhagic fever) was first recognized in the 1950s during dengue epidemics in the Philippines and Thailand.

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