Japan to Import Ebola Virus for Improving Test Accuracy

Society Lifestyle Politics

Tokyo, May 8 (Jiji Press)--Japan's health ministry and the National Institute of Infectious Diseases plan to import for the first time pathogens of deadly diseases such as Ebola this summer at the earliest, planning to use them to improve the accuracy of tests on patients in the event of an outbreak, it was learned Wednesday.

They may be kept at a facility at the NIID's Murayama laboratory in Musashimurayama in Tokyo, informed sources said. The ministry and the institute will explain the plan to local residents shortly, the sources said.

The ministry and the institute are aiming to better prepare for a possible outbreak of any of such diseases as the number of foreign visitors to Japan continues to grow.

Specifically, they are considering importing frozen pathogens of Ebola, Crimean-Congo, South American, Marburg and Lassa fever, officials of the ministry said. These are designated as the most dangerous diseases under Japan's infectious disease law.

While imports and sales of the pathogens of the diseases are banned, the NIID plans to procure them by obtaining permissions under the law, the sources said. It hopes to import the pathogens from overseas research institutes, and they will be kept strictly, according to the sources.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press