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Health Care

Unseasonal flu epidemic hits Japan amid lower immunity after COVID

School closures pick up across country after disease spreads at festivals

Image of influenza A-type virus. (Courtesy of Japan's National Institute of Infectious diseases) 

TOKYO -- A number of schools across Japan have been closed due to mass infections of seasonal influenza. The unseasonal outbreaks are thought to have been caused by the recategorization of COVID-19 as a "category 5" disease under the Infectious Disease Control Law, along with the relaxation of infection control measures.

Some experts have warned that the number of flu vaccinations has fallen since the outbreak of COVID-19, and general immunity against the flu has weakened.

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