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Japan to import Ebola virus for diagnostic testing

  • May 8, 2019
  • , Yomiuri
  • JMH Summary

This morning’s Yomiuri front-paged a Health Ministry plan to import this summer viruses responsible for four highly contagious diseases, including Ebola and Crimean–Congo hemorrhagic fevers, and store them at a research lab in Tokyo for the purpose of testing patients’ immunity to the deadly pathogens. Samples of Lassa and Marburg hemorrhagic fevers will also be imported ahead of the start of the World Cup Rugby tournament in the autumn so that diagnostic testing will be possible ahead of the Tokyo Olympics next year when many foreigners are expected to visit Japan. The daily explained that Japan is the only country in the G7 that does not yet have a biosafety level 4 (BSL-4) laboratory in operation, noting that the imported viruses will be frozen and stored in tightly sealed containers at the heavily protected facility. They will reportedly not be used for the study of the treatment of the diseases. The time of the importation and the routes of the transfer to the lab will not be disclosed for security reasons.  

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