YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — A recent outbreak of measles in Tokyo likely won’t make a big impact on U.S. bases in Japan, a military hospital official said Wednesday.

If people get their health care at the base, chances are they’ve already been vaccinated against the disease, said Lt. Lori Christensen, head of U.S. Naval Hospital Yokosuka’s preventative medicine department.

“We haven’t seen an influx of the people wanting the vaccine, nor do we expect one,” Christensen said.

Japan’s National Institute of Infectious Diseases announced last month that a measles outbreak was moving through the Kanto regions of Tokyo, Saitama, Kanagawa and Chiba.

Almost 400 cases of measles were contracted by mid-April this year, with most cases found in children and young people.

Because measles is a highly contagious virus that can result in brain damage and death, the NIID is warning those without the vaccination to get it.

The disease has all but been eradicated in the United States — it’s currently at a 99 percent reduction rate — but Japan had a major outbreak in 2001 with an estimated 286,000 cases, according to Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.

The U.S. started mandating a second shot for school-age children in 1989 as well as the first shot, which has been given to one and two year-olds since 1963.

Japan just started the second shot practice in 2006, according to a NIID press release.

The U.S. military also mandates the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccination for all active-duty servicemembers, Christensen said.

However, given the outbreak, base and fleet health-care providers are keeping “their eyes and ears open,” Christensen said.

Can’t remember whether you’ve been vaccinated? Christensen said patients can bring their medical records to the clinic for a professional check.

“We won’t give any shots that aren’t necessary,” Christensen said.

According to the NIID Web site, the Kanto-area outbreak has declined for the last three weeks. Prime measles season runs April to June in Japan, it said.

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