Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare

<Tentatively Translated>

Prevention and Treatment of Influenza A (H1N1) Infection

How to Protect against Infection with Influenza A (H1N1) and How to Avoid Transmitting the Disease to Others

Although the current influenza A (H1N1) is highly contagious, most reported cases have been mild, and people have recovered fully after treatment. However, some serious cases have been reported overseas in people with underlying medical conditions. For prevention and treatment of influenza A (H1N1) infection, please take appropriate actions referring to the following points:

1. How to protect yourself against infection

  • Avoiding crowded places
  • Wearing a mask in the crowd
  • Frequent hand washing
  • Practicing “ cough etiquette”
  • Gargling
  • Staggered commuting

* The following people should take extra precautions:

  • People with asthma or impaired renal function
  • People regularly taking steroids
  • People with cancer, pregnant women and etc.

3. What to do when symptoms has developed

  • Stay home from work/school.
  • Call the fever consultation center (set up at the local health center).
  • Call your family doctor to seek medical advice.
  • Make sure to wear a mask when you go to a medical institution.
  • Have therapeutic drugs prescribed as necessary and rest at home.
  • People who are seriously ill or at high-risk will be hospitalized.

2. Signs and symptoms of infection

  • Incubation period is 1-7 days
  • Sudden fever of 38-40 degrees
  • Chill, headache, muscle pain, joint pain and diarrhea
  • Duration of symptoms is 3-7 days

* Infections have been confirmed mainly among young people.

* The difference from a cold is that a cold begins with sore throat or runny nose, and then the gradual rise in temperature.

4. What you and your family should keep in mind

  • Stay home.
  • Have nutritious food, take a rest, and get enough sleep.
  • Stay in a separate room from your family to prevent transmission.
  • Get adequate hydration such as by tea or soup.
  • Maintain high humidity (50-60%) in the room.
  • Ventilate the room regularly.
  • Take and complete the therapeutic drugs as prescribed.
  • Family members who were in contact with the patient should wash their hands immediately.

Preparedness for Influenza A (H1N1)

Request for Orderly Response to Influenza A (H1N1)

The number of confirmed cases of influenza A (H1N1) infection is increasing in Japan, and it is thought to spread further. Looking at the domestic and international cases to date (22 May, 2009), although special attention should be paid for high-risk group, such as those with underlying medical conditions (e.g. asthma and impaired renal function), many of the cases have recovered with early diagnosis and administration of antiviral drugs. Nevertheless, the virus may mutate into a different type and spread further worldwide. Please respond in an orderly manner based on correct information.

Response of the government

In response to the domestic outbreaks of influenza A (H1N1) infection, the government will cooperate with municipal governments and affiliated organizations in order to implement the following responses:

1) Collecting wide-range of information and informing the public

  • By cooperating with other countries, collect information on the control measures conducted by other countries
  • Strengthening the domestic infection monitoring and providing information promptly

2) Response in the area where infected people or people who were in close contact with infected people were confirmed.

  • Surveillance of infection (active epidemiological surveillance)
  • Support for disabled and elderly people at home as needed.
  • Secure child-care facilities for children of medical workers in case of temporary closure of child-care facilities.
  • Request for the public cooperation (e.g. preventive measures)

3) Prompt improvement of the medical care system in response to influenza A (H1N1)

  • Increasing the number of fever clinics.
  • Proactively utilizing testing (PCR test) for confirmed diagnosis.

4) Review on countermeasures at the boarder and support for Japanese nationals overseas

5) Development and production of a vaccine

6) Check and caution for securing lifelines

7) Raise consumers’ awareness of appropriate behaviors and control crimes under favor of the social confusion.

Request for the Public

Preventive Measures Recommended for Influenza A (H1N1) Infection

The government aims at preventing infection spread and minimizing the adverse impact on public life and economy, as well as protecting people with underlying medical conditions.

Request for public cooperation include the following:

Avoiding the Crowds When Leaving Home

Avoid the crowds when going out if possible. When unavoidable, it is recommended to wear a mask. After returning home, wash hands and gargle frequently, and practice “ cough etiquette” when you are experiencing respiratory symptoms such as coughing and sneezing.

“Cough Etiquette”

If you cough or sneeze without wearing a mask, invisible droplets of saliva is dispersed into the air. So, when you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose such as with a tissue, look away, and keep a distance of at least 1 meter from the others. The tissue with nasal secretion or sputum should be thrown away into a dust bin immediately. Wearing a mask is advised if symptoms such as coughing and sneezing continue.


Employers and school officials are asked to admit staggered commuting or commuting by bicycle to reduce the risk of infection. If symptoms such as sudden fever and chill should appear, stay home, take a rest and seek medical advice, not forcing you to go to work/school.

Public Gatherings, Sporting Events, etc.

Uniform voluntary refrain from public gatherings is not requested. However, the necessity of holding such public gatherings and sporting events should be reconsidered from the viewpoint of reducing the risk of infection. If they are to be held, the organizers should take measures not to spread infection.

Temporary Closure of Schools, Child-Care Facilities, etc.

In case an infectious person is identified among students/pupils attending schools/child-care facilities, etc., those facilities in that local community (i.e. municipality in whole or in part, or depending on situations, whole prefecture) should be closed temporarily. However, universities are requested to take measures (including closure) to limit the infection spread on their own accord. The timing of ending the temporary closure should be considered weekly depending on the outbreak status of influenza A (H1N1).

Continuation of Business

Voluntary refrain from business is not requested. However, employers should take measures to reduce the risk of infection during the business operation. In addition, when a child-care facility where an employee’s child attends is temporarily closed, the employer should give consideration to the work schedule of the relevant employee.