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A Taiwanese man tested negative for Ebola

  • Data Source:Ministry of Health and Welfare
  • Created:2014-12-06
  • Last Updated:2017-01-11

On the evening of December 5, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) received a report from Kaohsiung Veterans General Hospital regarding a 19-year-old Taiwanese man who was suspected of being infected with the Ebola virus. The test result was confirmed as negative today. A teleconference was convened at 1:30 p.m. on the same day, with the participation of Tzou-Yien Lin, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Health and Welfare, Steve Hsu-Sung Kuo, CDC Director-General, CDC staff members, Yao-Shen Chen, Commanding Officer for the Kaohsiung-Pingtung Region of the Communicable Disease Control Medical Network, Ming-Lun Zheng, Deputy Director-General of the Department of Health of the Kaohsiung City Government, and Hong-Tai Chang, Vice Superintendent of Kaohsiung Veterans General Hospital, to deliberate on this case. After a careful discussion, the possibility of Ebola infection was eliminated. 

According to the CDC, the man did not travel overseas and consume bat meat as he earlier claimed. Article 31 of the Communicable Disease Control Act stipulates: “Medical care institutions shall, when visited by patients seeking medical treatment, inquire about the patients’ medical history, medical records, history of contact, travel history, and other matters related to communicable diseases; patients or their families shall make a factual report without any concealment.” If a patient makes a false statement of his or her travel history, misleading medical institution personnel into reporting as required by law and causing unnecessary panic, then the patient’s conduct is in violation of the provisions regarding making a factual report without any concealment, and the patient is subject to a fine of between NT$ 10,000 and NT$ 150,000 pursuant to Subparagraph 1, Paragraph 1, Article 69 of the same Act. The CDC also stated that a penalty is likely to be imposed according to law. 

The CDC once again urges the public to follow the “Two Don’ts and One Do” rule: Do not travel to Ebola-affected areas in West Africa. If it is necessary to travel to such areas, avoid contact with and consumption of wild animals such as fruit bats and primates. Do not visit or come into contact with patients at local hospitals. Pay attention to personal hygiene and undertake preventive measures such as washing hands frequently and wearing a mask when coughing. Travelers are advised to monitor their own health for 21 days after their return to Taiwan. Clinical physicians are also reminded to be sure to question patients returning from West Africa about their history of travel and contact, occupations, families or workplaces, and immediately admit a suspected case to an isolation ward. When attending to patients, medical personnel should remain on high alert, wear standard protective clothing, and follow infection control measures such as washing hands, keeping respiratory hygiene in mind, and avoiding being splashed by body fluids. 
For more information, please visit the CDC’s web page on Ebola infection (http://www.cdc.gov.tw) or call the toll-free Communicable Disease Reporting and Consultation Hotline: 1922 (or 0800-001922) from anywhere in the country.