The Japanese health authorities have tested Ebola on a Japanese woman who was recently in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, after she was suffering from a high fever days after returning.
The 70-year-old woman in the Saitama Prefecture (northwest of Tokyo) was in the Central African country until July 30 and was admitted to a hospital in the Japanese capital on August 3 with a fever that arrived at 39.2 degrees Celsius during the afternoon, the Ministry of Health reported Sunday.
According to information from the ministry, the woman remained in Congo for work reasons and was in areas where Ebola is endemic, but told authorities that she did not come into contact with patients with the disease during her stay there.
Health has sent the blood sample to the National Infectious Disease Research Institute for analysis and has indicated that fever could be a symptom of the flu, since the woman has tested positive for influenza A in hospital exams.
The ministry recalled that the test result has not yet been confirmed and noted that since the woman manifested a fever after her return, "the risk of infection of passengers who traveled on the same plane as the patient is extremely low."
Ebola has an incubation period of about three weeks and human contagion occurs once symptoms have manifested.
Even so, the Government convened a meeting late Saturday at the Office of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and ordered the relevant authorities to coordinate to avoid and quickly address possible secondary infections, as reported today by the public network Japanese NHK.
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