Ebola alert guidelines

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According to the Japan Times, the Japanese Health Ministry has drafted guidelines for alerting the public about Ebola patients’ travel routes in case of an outbreak.

The draft guidelines concern the release of information about the routes Ebola patients took inside and out of the country, and the Ministry has also created a basic policy on the release of information related to potential first-time outbreaks of other serious infectious diseases.

The basic policy was approved during a recent meeting of an expert panel, and the Ministry intends to make it formal in April, following consultations with other government bodies. The policy calls for the public to be provided with information about outbreaks. This will include places where patients are believed to have contracted the diseases, records of their activities during periods when transmission to other people is possible and patient contact with others.

The idea is that, in the event of an outbreak, the government will release details about patients and announce the estimated location where the infection took place, the time and date when symptoms began to appear, and overseas travel routes.