The New York Times reports today that, with 121 reported cases of H1N1 virus so far, Japan has taken aggressive measures to contain its spread, closing 1,000 schools and kindergartens. Overreaction, or admirable thoroughness?
“Japan is well known in public health circles for being exceptionally nervous about flu; it has an aging population and a national obsession with cleanliness that makes even Switzerland look messy.
“Masks are common on subways because it is considered rude to lack one if you are sneezing. Before the outbreak began last month, Japan used about 60 percent of the world’s stock of the antiviral drug Tamiflu.”