Feb. 21 (UPI) -- Japan is currently battling its worst measles outbreak in a decade, authorities said.
The National Institute of Infectious Diseases said that as of Feb. 10, the number of measles cases hit 167 for 2019, Asahi Shimbun reported.
A total 20 of the nation's 47 prefectures have reported patients sick with the highly contagious disease, NIID said Feb. 19, adding that the southwest prefecture of Mie had the highest number of patients with 47.
The large number of infected in Mie Prefecture is thought to have started at a religious group's training workshop, which led to many participates and their families falling ill.
Osaka had the second highest number of patients with 47, with 21 workers and customers of a skyscraper commercial complex having been infected.
Aichi was third with 17 reported cases.
The recent outbreak has local health authorities urging the public to get vaccinated, while some are also informing the public of travel routes taken by those known to be carrying the disease in order to prevent its transmission.
Many of Japan's infected had recently returned from overseas, leading authorities to believe this to be the cause of the outbreak, NHK World-Japan reported.
The foreign ministry is asking foreign visitors to seek medical attention immediately if are suffering from measles-like symptoms.
Japans' outbreak has occurred as several Asian countries are working to contain the disease as well.
Last week, the Philippines' Department of Health counted 8,443 measles cases and was expecting that number to rise due to vaccination fears in the country.
At least one person in Japan was confirmed to be infected with measles after returning from the Southeast Asian country Feb. 11.