While UK pupils in "swine flu quarantine" will probably have enjoyed an extended half-term break playing on their Nintendo Wii consoles and watching TV, in Japan the outbreak has driven students into karaoke clubs, according to newswire reports.
More than 4,000 schools, kindergartens and colleges have been shut in and around the cities of Osaka and Kobe after the first swine flu cases were confirmed in May. In a matter of days, 178 people were found to be infected with the virus.
The students quickly became bored at home, so opted to sing along to their favourite songs. "About 10 different groups of high school students came here yesterday," said Yoshikatsu Ishida, a karaoke club manager in Osaka. However, when he found out that they were supposed to be at home studying, he told them to go away.