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The Flu Comes to Narita

April 30, 2009

All three newspapers headlines ran a story about the woman from America who was diagnosed potentially with a strain of the “flu.” Whether this is the Swine Flu or not is something that has still not been made public. At about 330pm in Narita Airport a woman who was flying on Northwest Airlines was taken in for the first level of quarantine testing, and tested positive for the A strain of the flu. She is now currently undergoing a second level of testing that will confirm whether or not this is the Swine Flu. Each newspaper gives its take on the situation.

Yomiuri “The War on the Virus is at our Shores.” This was Yomiuri’s closing quote from their article but it pretty much sums up their diagnosis of the situation. While both the Nikkei and Asahi newspapers give brief descriptions of what happened at Narita, Yomiuri gives detailed events that show a war on the virus is coming to Japanese shores. They point out that the WHO had just raised the alert level to 5 from the National Infectious Diseases Research center in Shinjuku. The newspaper in their preceding paragraph tells the reader about how diseases, if undiagnosed, transcend national borders.

Asahi “20 People are Held at Narita” The Asahi focused on 20 people that were being held at Narita airport, who had possibly been in contact with the “patient” who was “diagnosed with the A strand of the flu.” Whether this flu was the new Swine Flu or not would be determined in a second level test commencing at 7pm, according to the Asahi.

Nikkei “She Appeared to be Japanese” The Nikkei has a very scientific way of explaining the phenomenon. They claim that “through a simple examination the subject received a positive diagnosis for the A strand virus.” They then stated that she “looks Japanese”, which was an interesting comment to make, considering how they’re probably assuming the reader was picturing someone who didn’t look Japanese?

And due to the inability to deny whether this is the Swine Flu, the Nikkei claims she’ll be moved to the second level test, referred to as the PCR. The test will be administered by a “Speciality Medical Organization.” All this testing could keep the passengers who had come in contact with the diagnosed for up to 10 days in the airport.

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