Photo/Illutration Fujita Health University has created an illustrated online booklet called “What is Coronavirus?” for children in Japanese and English. (Masaki Yamamoto)

TOYOAKE, Aichi Prefecture--A university hospital here created a 12-page illustrated online booklet in Japanese and English to help children understand the virus that has spread across the nation and disrupted their lives.

Members of the infectious disease department at Fujita Health University Hospital want their “What is Coronavirus?” booklet to prompt families to work together on avoiding infections.

The material, which can be downloaded at http://www.fujita-hu.ac.jp/~microb/index.html, explains the mechanism of how the virus spreads and the serious risks for elderly people or those with chronic illnesses.

The booklet introduces preventive measures, such as washing hands, coughing and sneezing in the least dangerous way, and resting at home if one catches a cold.

Fujita Health University Hospital has accepted people from the Diamond Princess cruise ship who tested positive for the novel coronavirus despite showing no symptoms. They were sent to the hospital’s Okazaki Health Center in Okazaki, Aichi Prefecture, which has not yet officially opened.

According to Yohei Doi, professor of the hospital’s department of infectious diseases, members of Okazaki city’s board of education asked the hospital for educational materials suitable for elementary school pupils.

Doi said the manual was initially intended for local children but released it for a wider range of people.

“I wanted to not only say, ‘Let’s wash our hands,’ but I also wanted to explain why such cleanliness is needed,” Aki Sakurai, assistant professor of the hospital who created the booklet, said. “If they are convinced, elementary school kids will wash their hands.”

Sakurai showed the completed work to her two elementary school children and asked for their opinions.

Putting furigana readings next to the kanji characters was suggested.

The note, “Supervised by elementary school pupils,” appears in the booklet.

Sakurai said: “How each person takes measures is important in stopping the spread of the virus. I want the measures taken by children to hopefully change the behavior of adults.”