Tokyo’s Yoyogi to Be Fumigated After 3 Contract Dengue Fever

Aug 28, 2014 4:16 am ET

Aug. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Yoyogi Koen, one of the largest and most popular parks in central Tokyo, will be fumigated after three people diagnosed with dengue fever said they were bitten by mosquitoes there.

The two women and one man who contracted the disease are acquaintances and are the first domestic cases of dengue fever since the 1940s, according to a Health Ministry statement. Authorities couldn’t find mosquitoes carrying the disease in Yoyogi, according to the statement.

Dengue is transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito and can’t be spread directly from person to person. It causes flu-like symptoms and high fevers. There are more than 50 to 100 million cases of dengue worldwide each year and 3 billion people living in dengue endemic countries, according to the World Health Organization’s website.

The international agency says patients need rest, fluids and medical advice, and that paracetamol can be taken to bring down fever and reduce joint pains. With proper care, fatality rates for the disease are below 1 percent, according to the WHO.

Insecticides will be sprayed from 5 p.m. today in a 50- meter radius around the area of Yoyogi Park where the people said they were bitten, near the Shibuya gate of the park, Mineo Shirota, an official of the Tokyo city government’s park division, said in a telephone interview. There are no plans for further spraying at Yoyogi or other parks, he said. “There hasn’t been a serious mosquito outbreak this summer,” Shirota said.

Yoyogi covers 54 hectares (134 acres) of parkland, including fields, ponds and trees, and gets thousands of visitors every weekend. The health ministry suspects that domestic mosquitoes picked up the virus from people who arrived from elsewhere.

Shares of insecticide maker Fumakilla Ltd. surged 24 percent in Tokyo trading today. Rivals Earth Chemical Co. rose 8.1 percent and SDS Biotech K.K. gained 14 percent.

--With assistance from Lily Nonomiya and Kanoko Matsuyama in Tokyo.