Pneumonia cases rise in Tohoku
SENDAI At least 11 people have died of pneumonia and about 150 have been hospitalized with the illness at Ishinomaki Red Cross Hospital in Miyagi Prefecture since the March 11 quake and tsunami, the hospital said Tuesday.

The number of patients is five to six times higher than during the same period last year, it said.

Many patients contracted pneumonia as a result of inflammations caused by seawater entering their lungs during the tsunami, or due to low body temperatures shortly after the disaster, the hospital said. Dust, chemical substances stirred up from dried sludge and a lack of oral hygiene are also believed to be behind the surge in cases.