Airports scanning for Ebola victims


The health ministry has put airport quarantine stations on alert for potential Ebola victims to prevent the deadly virus from entering Japan, after the World Health Organization declared the outbreak in West Africa a public health emergency Friday.

Quarantine stations across the nation will check connecting flights from West African countries hit by the infectious hemorrhagic fever and use thermographic cameras to monitor disembarking passengers for fever before they enter Japan, the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry said Friday.

Quarantine officials will also ask passengers if they are arriving from countries linked to the Ebola outbreak and have them checked by doctors or subject them to monitoring if necessary.

There is no cure for Ebola and the virus can have a fatality rate as high as 90 percent.

The ministry also urged prefectural governments and medical institutions to immediately report suspected Ebola carriers and make sure that response measures, such as for transferring such people and sending specimen samples to designated medical institutions, are in place.

To help spread the word on the deadly virus, including the latest information on the expanding outbreak, the ministry has set up a special Ebola page on its Web site.

In a related development Friday, the Foreign Ministry urged Japanese citizens to refrain from unnecessary trips to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone or evacuate the three countries soon.

  • Bill Duff


    This is an excellent and rapid preliminary response, to a dangerous epidemic.