Nightmare: Has Ebola Reached Tokyo? (Update: Negative)

Ebola tests are being run on a man who arrived at Japan’s Haneda airport Monday, according to the Japan Times.

The man, reportedly a 45-year-old journalist whose name was not released, was transported to the National Center for Global Health and Medicine in Shinjuku Ward. The blood test was conducted at the National Institute of Infectious Diseases in Tokyo.

According to NHK, the man was in Liberia from August to Oct. 18. He arrived at Haneda via Belgium and Britain, NHK reported.

He was running a fever of 37.8 (celsius, about 100.04 Fahrenheit) degrees when he was at Haneda, but he did not report any other health problems. NHK quoted a health ministry source as saying they had no information that he was ever in contact with any Ebola patients in Liberia.


Haneda, aka Tokyo International Airport, is Tokyo’s main airport for domestic air travel, the closest to downtown Tokyo for international travel, and is ranked as the world’s fourth busiest airport. It is connected by rail and road to the heart of Tokyo, the most populous city in the world with more than 37 million people — 10 million more than the entire state of Texas. Tokyo’s two major airports, Haneda and Narita, are key travel hubs connecting east and west.

With its dense urban population and Japan’s role in the world economy, an Ebola outbreak in Tokyo could be an absolute nightmare.

Fujifilm is working its Ebola drug Avigan. It is already approved to treat flu, and Fujifilm says it has 20,000 doses on hand and can make up to 300,000 additional doses. France and Germany are set to conduct trials for Avigan as an anti-Ebola drug next month.


Update: He tested negative.


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