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Friday, 29th February 2008
In Business In Japan,

Health ministry 'kept quiet' over contamination data

The Japanese ministry of health has been in possession of information relating to individuals treated with contaminated blood products since 2001, it has been claimed.

Kyodo News has issued a report stating that the government ministry knew of the existence of information relating to 3,859 individuals affected by the contaminated product, known as fibrinogen, reports the Japan Times.

And, in spite of the substance potentially leading to the onset of hepatitis C, the government department failed to pass on the information to those at risk.

"Virus detection technology has been established since 1990 and the state should have promoted virus tests," said Toshihiro Suzuki, a representative for those lawyers involved in a number of nationwide lawsuits.

Legal action has been instigated by individuals who contracted hepatitis after exposure to the damaged products.

Although the medical status of 159 individuals is known, the fate of the remaining 3,700 is unknown by government officials.

Hepatitis C can be transmitted in a number of different ways, including through drug use and body piercing.

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