A 43-year-old man from Saga Prefecture, whose name was not released, became the first person in Japan to die from the acute kidney failure caused by the Nipah virus, according to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare. Since October 2017, the virus has killed 13 people in Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia. The SARS-like coronavirus known as Nipah is highly contagious, causing bleeding and organ failure and can be spread by airborne droplets.

A short video of an anemic elderly man in the hospital

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Japan’s outbreak was first detected in July 2018 when a worker on a Saudi Arabian construction project was fatally infected in nearby Osaka Prefecture. The infectious disease’s spread to the other three countries indicates it is global. Japanese health officials say that while they cannot yet estimate how long it will take to contain the outbreak, they have established a nationwide screening system and sent out around 3,200 students who were in the midst of group trips to the affected countries as well as to New Zealand and Australia to ask them if they had come into contact with the sick traveler.

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