Dr. Shigeru Mita, Mita Clinic in Tokyo: Our patients mostly come from Tokyo, Chiba, Kanagawa, Saitama, and other Northern Kanto areas.
The pediatricians’ general textbook says that reference value of neutrophil [the most abundant type of white blood cells, essential part of immune system] for healthy children (6-12 years old) is [...] 4000, but it has shifted to 2500. It is lower than the threshold value of 3000. I think this points at a serious problem. [...]
In the summer of 2011, there were many children with bloodshot eyes; and what we saw most were children with dark circles under the eyes. [...] we are seeing more cases of sinusitis accompanied with mild case of asthma continuing for longer periods. And when these children spend some time in the West, they get better. If at all possible, I would like them to move away from East Japan. [...]
[...] radioactive substances coming from Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have reached Tokyo, and huge amounts of contaminated waste is being burned here as well, I cannot deny the possibility that we are inhaling radioactive substances contained in the air. Again, let me repeat that after the nuclear accident, enormous amounts of nuclear substances were released in the environment. Therefore, if we see an increase in symptoms that are different from the ones we’ve seen before, we physicians should “first consider the effects of radioactivity.” [...]
Mita: [...] But my real hope is to have not just children but also adults move away from Tokyo.
[...] [The adult] conditions are definitely different compared to how it was before the nuclear accident.
With elderly people, it takes more time for asthma to heal. The medication doesn’t seem to work. We also see more patients with diseases that had been rare before; for example, polymyalgia rheumatica [...] Before 3.11, we had one or less patient per year. Now, we treat more than 10 patients at the same time. [...]
I think doctors who knew their patients well should become aware of the strange things that were happening to them. [...]
Published: November 11th, 2013 at 1:17 pm ET