See More on Facebook

Current affairs

Japanese woman suspected of having Ebola will remain hospitalised

Test have so far come out negative.


Written by

Updated: August 5, 2019

A woman in her 70s has tested negative for the deadly and infectious Ebola virus, Japan’s Ministry of Health said on Sunday (Aug 4), adding that she will continue to be hospitalised for doctors to monitor her condition as a precaution.

The woman, who lives in Saitama prefecture in the Greater Tokyo region, returned to Japan on July 31.

Domestic media reports said that the woman was based in Congo for work for at least six months, though they did not specify her occupation.

She had recorded a fever of 38.2 deg C at 5am on Saturday, which then rose to 38.5 deg C at 5.50pm and 39.2 deg C at 7pm the same day.

The Health Ministry said in a statement earlier on Sunday that the woman tested positive for type A influenza and negative for malaria.

The Ebola scare had led the government to take precautionary measures by setting up an emergency response unit.

In doing so, the Prime Minister’s Office vowed to do all it could to treat the patient and prevent secondary infections. Millions who work and study in Tokyo commute every day from Saitama, which is located less than an hour by train from the capital.

As tests were being conducted on the patient on Sunday, the government had said on Twitter, in a statement posted in both Japanese and English: “Ebola hemorrhagic fever is infectious only at the onset of symptoms. Therefore, the risk of infection for passengers who were on the same flight as the patient is extremely low.”

The Health Ministry said the woman had been taking temperature measurements at a health quarantine station twice a day since her return to Japan. She has told authorities that she had no contact with any Ebola patients in Congo.

Ebola victims typically show symptoms after an incubation period of anywhere from two to 21 days, though the average is seven to 10 days.

Many common illnesses like malaria and influenza have the same symptoms as Ebola, which include sudden fever, migraines, muscle pain, lethargy and sore throat.

After these, other symptoms like vomiting, diarrhoea, chest and abdominal pains, and unexplained bleeding or bruising may occur.

The Ebola virus cannot spread before the onset of symptoms, and cannot be transmitted by air and by mosquitoes. But it can be spread by direct contact with blood or body fluids – including urine, saliva, sweat, faeces, vomit, breast milk, and semen – of an infected victim, or objects that are contaminated with fluids of an infected patient.

This month marks one year since the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared an outbreak of the Ebola virus in Congo.

Last month, the outbreak was declared a global health emergency that left more than 2,600 people infected and over 1,800 killed, though WHO stressed that it was “still a regional emergency and by no way a global threat”.

Only four such declarations – issued for epidemics that pose a serious threat to public health and may spread worldwide – have been made in the past.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


About the Author: The Straits Times is Singapore's top-selling newspaper.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Current affairs

Here’s how you can protect yourself from dengue

With the possibility of an outbreak, it’s important to understand the disease and recognise its symptoms. The WHO on Monday warned that the Kathmandu Valley might be in for a possible dengue outbreak. According to news published in the Post, in the fiscal year 2018-2019, more than 3,425 people had been infected with the dengue virus—the highest number of infections in 15 years. The mosquito-borne viral disease is transmitted by the female Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes. The same mosquitoes also transmit the chikungunya virus, yellow fever, and Zika virus, according to the WHO. With the lurking threat of the possibility of the disease’s outbreak in


By The Kathmandu Post
August 16, 2019

Current affairs

Hong Kong airport beefs up security as flights resume after protest chaos

Hong Kong courts declare airport occupation to be illegal. Flights resumed at Hong Kong’s airport Wednesday (Aug 14) after two days of disruptions marked by outbursts of violence that highlight the hardening positions of pro-democracy protesters and the authorities in the semi-autonomous Chinese city. Reflecting growing international concern, the US State Department on Wednesday issued a travel advisory for Hong Kong, urging “increased caution in Hong Kong due to civil unrest.” A State Department spokesman also expressed concern about reports of movements of Chinese forces on the border with Hong Kong and urged Beijing to honor the territory’s autonomy. “The United States is deeply concerned by reports of Chinese paramilitary movement along the Hong Kong border,” the spokesman said, referring to satellite photos showing what appear to be armoured personnel carriers and other vehicl


By The Straits Times
August 15, 2019

Current affairs

Family confirms body found is Nora Anne’s

The child was feared to be kidnapped from her resort hotel. The family of Nora Anne Quoirin has confirmed that the body found is that of the missing Irish teenager, according to the Negri Sembilan police chief. Mohamad Mat Yusop, who was at the Tuanku Ja’afar Hospital, said the family was brought in to identify the body and had confirmed that it was Nora Anne, who went missing from a resort on Aug 4. A post-mortem will be done on Wednesday morning (Aug 14). A senior pathologist from Kuala Lumpur will be performing the post-mortem. Earlier, a group of trekkers found Nora Anne’s naked body in a stream some 2.5km from the resort she was staying with her family at 1.57pm Tuesday (Aug 13). The remains were found near Gunung Berembun in Pantai Hills. Nora Anne, 15, had checked into the property with her parents, Sebastian Marie Philipe and Meabh Jaseprine Quoirin, and siblings


By The Star
August 14, 2019

Current affairs

Japan to assess impact of ROK trade decision

South Korea has not placed Japan on a white-list of trade friendly countries. The government plans to analyze how Japanese firms will be impacted by South Korea’s decision to remove Japan from its list of countries receiving preferential trade status. At this point, the dominant view is that the impact will be minimal because most sensitive materials can be imported from places other than South Korea, according to a person related to the government. Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko criticized the South Korean decision in a Twitter post on Tuesday, saying, “Even after seeing a press conference of the South Korean side, it remains completely unclear on which grounds they can say Japan’s import and export control systems do not meet basic principles.” State Minister for Foreign Affairs Masahisa Sato also said on Twitter Monday that he would confirm in detail the reasons behind So


By The Japan News
August 14, 2019

Current affairs

Hong Kong protests shut down airport in biggest disruption yet

Flights could resume on Tuesday. Hong Kong was forced to shut down its airport on Monday (Aug 12), grounding around 200 flights and affecting many others worldwide, after thousands of protesters swarmed the main terminal building in the biggest disruption yet to the city’s economy since demonstrations escalated in June. The airport authorities said flights could resume early Tuesday (Aug 13) depending on recovery operations after protester numbers dwindled in the evening. They also urged passengers to check that their flights were confirmed before heading to the airport. But protest organisers have vowed to hold a large-scale “eye for an eye” sit-in at the airport this afternoon to protest against the escalation of force by police following another weekend of violent demonstrations across Hong Kong. This would be the fifth continuous day that protesters have occupied


By The Straits Times
August 13, 2019

Current affairs

Eid celebrated peacefully in Kashmir amid heavy security, India says

Over 10,000 people offered prayers says India’s central government. Over, 10,000 people peacefully offered prayers in mosques across Jammu and Kashmir on the occasion of Eid al-Adha on Monday. Amid massive security arrangements and restrictions, prayers concluded peacefully in all parts of Jammu and Kashmir, as it marked its first Eid after the revocation of its special status amid massive security arrangements. The prayers began at 7 a.m. and continued till noon in some places. The movement of people was facilitated by the police. People offered namaz and were also seen greeting police personnel on duty. Prohibitory orders are still in force in Srinagar with large groups of people not being allowed to assemble and traffic restrictions put in place. Eid prayers were held in smaller mosques in neighbourhoods after large congregations were restricted in sensitive areas in Srinagar.


By The Statesman
August 13, 2019