HEALTH
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Ebola Virus

Guangdong gives all-clear to 43 people monitored for Ebola

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 23 October, 2014, 4:54am
UPDATED : Thursday, 23 October, 2014, 8:21pm

Guangdong has given the all-clear to 43 people under observation for Ebola amid growing efforts by mainland health authorities to prevent an outbreak.

A senior health official also said two mainland trading cities with strong ties to Africa were at high risk of an Ebola case but the disease was unlikely to spread throughout the country.

Chen Yuansheng, director of the Guangdong Provincial Health and Family Planning Commission, told official interview website gdhotline.gov.cn on Tuesday that Guangdong had kept 43 people under observation since the end of August but they had all been cleared.

Chen said Guangdong had stepped up surveillance at airports and major venues such as international conference centres. Twenty-seven hospitals across the province had been designated to treat cases and three disease control and prevention centres were responsible for monitoring and diagnosis.

"All individuals from Ebola-affected areas will have repeated temperature checks. We have singled out hotels [where those] who came to the Canton Fair from Ebola-affected areas [are staying]. The health authorities will check their temperatures in the morning and evening," Chen said.

He said health checks had been completed on 5,437 of the 8,672 people who had visited Guangzhou from Ebola-affected areas since the end of August. Checks were under way on the rest of the visitors.

Gao Fu, deputy director of the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, who headed a 59-member team in Sierra Leone to help monitor the virus, told Caixin.com that it was "only a matter of time" before Ebola entered Asia - and China.

"With strong ties with Africa, it is only a matter of time before it enters Asia and China. The risk of it spreading to China has always been high, especially in Guangzhou and Yiwu [ in Zhejiang ]," Gao said.

But Gao said the disease would not spread widely in China because the epidemic in Africa was exacerbated by very poor medical facilities. The virus also had limited means of transmission. "There is no chance of a large-scale outbreak as long as protection is good and direct contact is prevented," Gao said.