Japan Aims to Import Ebola, Other Deadly Viruses

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Tokyo, Nov. 15 (Jiji Press)--Japan's health ministry said Thursday that a national research facility in Tokyo aims to import such deadly viruses as Ebola to utilize them for improving the accuracy of its testing methods.

The plan, unveiled at a meeting with local municipal officials and residents, calls for Ebola and other pathogens to be imported by the Murayama branch of the National Institute of Infectious Diseases.

The branch, located in the western Tokyo city of Musashimurayama, is authorized to handle dangerous pathogens designated as the highest biosafety level (BSL) of 4 under the World Health Organization's standards.

The ministry thinks that utilizing those imported virus strains will help improve its system for testing.

It is concerned that deadly infectious diseases could be brought to Japan by visitors from aboard, whose number is expected to surge toward the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press