Experts ease fears of Ebola spread

Updated: 2014-08-05 04:58

(China Daily)

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Travelers visiting West Africa urged to protect themselves against virus

Medical experts say Guangdong province is taking precautions to prevent any outbreak of Ebola virus if it were to spread from Africa.

He Jianfeng, chief expert from Guangdong provincial center for disease control and prevention, said Guangdong, which borders the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions, has never witnessed an Ebola outbreak.

"So local residents shouldn't worry too much about an outbreak of the virus in the province, which has a large number of people from Africa," He said.

"According to my counterparts from Hong Kong, there is no evidence that a Hong Kong woman patient who once visited Kenya is a suspected Ebola case," He told local media.

"Currently, the outbreak of the Ebola virus is still confined to western Africa," He said.

No suspected Ebola case has been detected in Guangdong, he added.

He urged people to protect themselves from being infected with Ebola if they visit western Africa.

More than 1,000 people from Africa arrive at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport every day.

Ebola symptoms include fever, headache and diarrhea.

He said his center has yet to raise the risk assessment for an Ebola outbreak in Guangdong.

Hong Kong Secretary for Food and Health Ko Wing-man said last week that the health department hasn't received any reports of a suspected Ebola case.

Ko said this in response to a media report that a Hong Kong woman returning from a two-week stay in eastern Kenya has exhibited symptoms of the deadly virus.

Ko said that there's no direct flight from West Africa but it's possible for virus carriers to come to Hong Kong through transit flights. Suspected cases will be immediately taken to the isolation ward in Princess Margaret Hospital.

Kenya, as of last Wednesday afternoon, has been spared from the Ebola outbreak that unfolded on the opposite side of the continent. Ko said a patient would not be suspected of having Ebola without relevant travel or contact history.

Guangdong and Hong Kong have both promised to expand cooperation in preventing and fighting the deadly virus.

Although there have been no reported Ebola cases there, Guangdong, which was hard hit by SARS a dozen years ago, is going all out to prevent Ebola from spreading.

Precautionary measures are being put in place in the city of Guangzhou to stop the potential spread of the virus.

According to Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, machines have been set up to test passengers' body temperature. Anyone whose body temperature is above 37.5 C will undergo a blood test.