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The Swine Flu Returns

August 18, 2009

Earlier this year in May, the first fatal case of the swine flu was reported in Japan. The man was 57 years old, and he lived in Okinawa. Although panic set in to the point where Japan had to be split off into different zones (infected areas, not infected areas, areas that are starting to be infected), over the summer the excitement died down. People stopped wearing masks, department stores started to see customers coming back to shop, and salarymen went back to their daily routines.

That could all change now with the second fatality from the swine flu now confirmed in Japan. Each newspaper had a different take on how exactly the man died, and the circumstances surrounding the return of the swine flu.

Yomiuri “A 70 Year Old man died in Kobe from the Swine Flu while undergoing Dialytic Treatment” The Yomiuri describes the 70 year old man being infected in the city Kobe, the first city to be hit by the swine flu earlier this year, in May.  He had a chronic disease in his kidneys, and was undergoing dialytic treatment when he suddenly died on the eve of the 18th.

NikkeiThe Swine Flu Kills a Second Person, a 70 Year Old man with Pulmonary Emphysema” The Nikkei tells an entirely different story as to the cause of why the man died in the hospital. They report that the man actually died from a severe case of bronchitis instead of a kidney related disease, which quickly got worse and killed him on the eve of the 18th of August.

On the 16th of August, he received a fever of 38 degrees Celsius (over 100 degrees Fahrenheit). On the 17th he checked into the local medical facility. On fears that he could have pneumonia, the doctors ran tests but he tested negative. However still being sick, he undertook a second test at another hospital nearby, where he was diagnosed with the A strand of the flu.

On the 18th his body quickly detonated and he died suddenly at 620pm. Tests afterwards confirmed he had died from the swine flu.

Asahi “A 77 Year Old Man dies in Kobe, the second in Japan” The Asahi claims that the man was in the hospital being treated for diabetes, but like the Nikkei, they claim that a severe case of bronchitis ended up killing him on the eve of the 18th. They also mention interestingly that the man had no history of traveling overseas, confirming that he had to be infected domestically. This fact, coupled with a second death by swine flu, could set a wave of panic into the Japanese public unseen since the first scare in May and June of this year.

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