Suspected Ebola Patient Hospitalized in Tokyo: Japanese Health Ministry

Suspected Ebola Patient Hospitalized in Tokyo: Japanese Health Ministry © East News/ AP

09:24 29.12.2014(updated 09:59 29.12.2014)

TOKYO, December 29 (Sputnik) — A Japanese man returning to Tokyo from Sierra Leone has been hospitalized and is being tested for the Ebola virus, the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare reported on Monday.

According to a ministry press release, the 30-year-old Tokyo resident sought medical attention after developing a fever following his return December 23 from an eight-day stay in Sierra Leone.

Medical staff quoted the man as saying he had no direct contact with those infected by the virus, but had assisted in burying victims in the West African country.

Japan introduced special security measures to prevent the Ebola virus from penetrating its borders in October. Health authorities in all of Japan’s 30 international airports are administering mandatory surveys for all visitors entering the country from West Africa. Passport control is carrying out additional surveys for all arrivals entering Japan, regardless of the country of origin.

Those returning from Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Congo three weeks prior to arriving in Japan are subject to special monitoring.

According to World Health Organization (WHO) data, over 7,500 people out of almost 20,000 reported cases have died from the disease as of December 24.

The Ebola virus spreads through direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person. The virus may be able to survive for a few hours once it has dried and is thought to survive for several days within body fluids of victims. Specific treatment or a scientifically tested vaccine against Ebola currently does not exist. A number of countries, including Russia, the United States, Japan and China, are developing a vaccine for the deadly virus.

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