China raises precaution against Ebola

Updated: 2014-08-23 11:08


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BEIJING - China's health authorities have stepped up control measures against Ebola in the past week, in wake of continuous epidemic in West Africa.

The National Health and Family Planning Commission distributed a protocol for diagnosis, treatment and fast response of Ebola cases to 31 provincial health departments on Thursday.

The document elaborates the symptoms of the disease and instructs medical workers how to put possible cases under medical observation, to handle suspected cases, to treat confirmed cases and under what circumstances to release a person under observation.

Two days earlier, the commission had issued a protocol on how to transfer suspected Ebola cases and people to be put under medical observation, to border control agencies at land borders, seaports and airports.

The document asks local health authorities to select specialized hospitals to take in these cases and border quarantine agencies to upgrade monitoring.

Dong Xiaoping, research fellow with the Institute of Virus of Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC), warned earlier this month that the virus might enter China through humans in individual cases and can be controlled with strengthened checks at customs, though the possibility of an Ebola outbreak in China is extremely low.

Also on Thursday, the commission banned Ebola-related experiments in the country without government approval.

It ordered virus nurturing and animal infection tests to be conducted in labs with biosafety level-4 (BSL-4) standards and waste from Ebola experiments to be sterilized before being disposed of.

Packaging and transportation of Ebola samples should be done according to first-class standards, the commission also warned.

Ebola spreads through body fluids and has killed over 1,300 people in West African countries this year.

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday said the magnitude of the Ebola outbreak, especially in Liberia and Sierra Leone, has been underestimated.

Earlier this month, China sent three expert teams composed of epidemiologists and specialists in disinfection and protection as well as medical supplies to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.