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Japan records 130 measles cases as RS virus outbreak hits babies

There have now been 130 cases of measles this year as of September 18, Japan's disease center said on Tuesday. (Fuji News Network)
There have now been 130 cases of measles this year as of September 18, Japan’s disease center said on Tuesday (Fuji News Network)

TOKYO (TR) – There have now been 130 recorded cases of measles in Japan as of September while a respiratory virus outbreak among babies continues to grow, the national disease control center said on Tuesday.

The National Institute of Infectious Diseases said there were 21 new cases of measles reported in a one-week period leading to September 18, while there were 4,558 reported cases of the respiratory syncytial (RS) virus in the same period, Fuji News Network reports (September 27).

City officials have struggled to contain the outbreak of a mostly foreign strain of measles, a highly infectious disease, after several dozen cases were reported among workers at Kansai International Airport in August.

Babies who carry the RS virus, which infects the respiratory tract and commonly causes acute bronchitis in small children, are contagious for at least three weeks.

RS spreads through droplets when babies cough or sneeze, and can survive for some time on surfaces including clothing.

Outbreaks of the RS virus, which can also cause pneumonia, are common starting in autumn through winter.