Japan Travel Advisory – Influenza A (H1N1)

May 2nd, 2009 | By | Category: Featured Articles, Travel

Although there have been no reported cases of Influenza A(H1N1), formerly labeled swine flu, in Japan as of May 2nd, visitors arriving into Narita Airport (Tokyo) and Kansai International Airport (Osaka/Kobe) from the Unites States, Canada and South America can expect delays of two hours or longer when deplaning due to an onboard health screening.

UPDATE: May 20, 2009 – Domestic cases of H1N1 in Japan have increased to 193 primarily centered in Osaka & Hyogo Prefecture. However, “Quarantine inspections to identify people infected with swine flu aboard airplanes arriving from North America will be scaled down and terminated as early as the end of this week, health ministry officials said Tuesday….The quarantine checks have been conducted aboard planes from the U.S., Canada and Mexico that arrive at Narita, Kansai and Chubu airports.

Once this is implemented travelers will no longer face delays at airports but should still take the precautions listed below when visiting Japan. (More information)

UPDATE: May 18, 2009 – Domestic cases of H1N1 in Japan have increased to 42 primarily centered in Osaka & Hyogo Prefecture. Officials say that the Universal Studios Japan theme park could be closed, and that baseball games and concerts in the city of Osaka could be canceled. (More information)

UPDATE: May 9, 2009 – Three Japanese males have been diagnosed with H1N1 after arriving back in Japan after an overseas trip but “were detected during the quarantine at the airport, we do not consider it as indicating the domestic emergence of the disease,” said Prime Minite Taro Aso. (More information)

If you suspect that you have come down with H1N1 while in Japan, you are requested to contact fever consultation center, that will then direct you to go to hospitals designated to handle infectious diseases.  You should also avoid taking public transport and wear a mask to avoid spreading the infection.

For information about the nearest fever consultation center in Tokyo in English, Chinese, Korean, Thai and Spanish, call Tokyo Metropolitan Medical Institution Information at (03) 5285-8181 between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. daily. Outside these hours, you can call Tokyo Fever Consultation Center at (03) 5320-4509, although they may not have foreign-language speaking staff.

For advice in Kyoto, call the consultation hotline at (075) 342-0088, where English-speaking staff are available daily between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. and Chinese, Korean, Spanish and Portuguese speakers from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The preceding information is an except from The Japan Times article, Tips to prepare for influenza outbreak dated May 2, 2009 (Japan Standard Time).

If you are planning a trip to Japan in the near future I highly recommend that you read this article and follow guidance and updates posted on the World Health Organization Influenza A(H1N1) page.

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  1. The swine flu story is way overblown. This flu is actually less severe and less dangerous then the regular seasonal flu. Just another example of the worlds media going overboard and making something little into a major disaster.

  2. Tornadoes28 - I agree with you about the “worlds media going overboard” for the most part but that doesn’t lessen the fact that travelers should be prepared for the resulting delays - hence this advisory.

    However, I will say that I think that this situation could become very dangerous in underdeveloped countries that don’t have the medical infrastructure to handle this type of medical emergency on a large scale if at all.

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