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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

New Strain Of Dengue Virus In Japan

Great. Yet another reason to hate mosquitoes.

According to the Japanese government, a new type of dengue virus was found in a man in Shizuoka-ken—a virus that has mutated enough to carry a different genetic sequence of the virus - different from the other Japanese people who had been infected with the virus back in August of 2014.

What does this mean? Well, it means that someone other than the person carrying the dengue virus that affected many people in Yoyogi Park in Tokyo has brought the virus back with them more recently.

The original virus to hit Japan was traced back to a man - and we're not saying a Japanese man - but it could be, who was in his 20s. He was identified on September 18, 2014 as the originator, having first developed symptoms back on September 10, 2014.

The man says he had visited Japan in early September, had mosquito saliva spit upon him before having been bitten on September 8th or 9th as he visited the eastern part of Tokyo.

Mosquitoes have a saliva on the end of their proboscis that softens up the skin a bit for easier entry to suck blood. It is actually the saliva that people are 'allergic' to that causes the swelling and itching. Would it surprise you to learn that it's the females of the species that is the blood-sucker? I am talking about mosquitoes only, of course.

However, if a mosquito is carrying virus, in this case the dengue virus, it's a simple matter of transference, as it enters the human blood stream.

Japan's Health Ministry says that three more people have been identified as infected with the dengue virus, for a total of 150 in Japan.

Up until this outbreak, no Dengue virus had been seen in Japan since 1945.

Andrew Joseph

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