Late last night (October 16), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) were notified that a 55-year-old Nigerian man flew to mainland China from Taoyuan International Airport yesterday afternoon and was hospitalized for examination after being screened as having a fever upon reaching Ningbo Lishe International Airport. The CDC has verified from the mainland that the patient is still in the hospital being observed. His fever has now receded and samples are being taken and tested. The mainland’s initial assessment is that the probability of this patient being infected with the Ebola virus is low.
The flight was cleaned and sterilized after reaching Ningbo in accordance with regulations and returned to Taiwan last night. The flight also had 2 pilots and 13 crew attendants. With the exception of two flight attendants who interacted with this passenger when providing meals and collecting the utensils afterward, the other attendants did not interact with this passenger. The two flight attendants had no physical contact with the passenger. The passenger also did not vomit during the flight. Therefore, the initial assessment is that the chance of exposure to infection was extremely low. For the sake of caution, the two flight attendants have temporarily stopped working to monitor their own health. With the exception of the passenger’s companion and 4 people in neighboring seats, who are being assessed by mainland Chinese quarantine officers, the other 94 passengers have already crossed the borders into mainland China.
According to initial investigation by the CDC, this passenger flew from Lagos, Nigeria, on October 6. He changed planes in Dubai before flying to Brussels, Belgium. On October 13, he left Brussels and changed planes in Dubai again before reaching Taiwan on October 14. In the afternoon of October 16, he flew from Taoyuan International Airport to Ningbo, China. The CDC has asked the mainland to inquire into the passenger’s travel history within Taiwan and requested other information, such as test results, be passed along as soon as possible.
The CDC states that on October 15, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that Nigeria has had a cumulative number of 20 cases with 8 deaths. Cases occurred in two locations within Nigeria. No new cases have occurred in Lagos since August 18. In addition, no new cases have occurred in Port Harcourt since August 31. On October 14, the WHO stated that if Nigeria does not discover new cases following 42 days (2 incubation periods) of active surveillance of those who made contact with cases, the epidemic can be declared to have ended on October 20.
The CDC remind citizens that unnecessary travel to Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and other areas infected with the Ebola virus in West Africa should be avoided. Independent health monitoring should be conducted for the 21 days after returning to Taiwan. Temperatures should be measured in the morning and evening. If symptoms such as fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and skin rashes occur, please call the domestic toll-free epidemic hotline at 1922 (or 0800-001922). If recommended by the medical personnel, visit a doctor and inform him or her of your travel and contact history to facilitate the provision of the most appropriate treatment services. The CDC call upon physicians to be vigilant. In accordance with the treatment process for the Ebola virus, suspected cases should be reported and inspected, and patients and those who have made contact with patients should be handled properly. Related information can be found on the Ebola virus area of the CDC site (http://www.cdc.gov.tw) or by calling the domestic toll-free epidemic hotline at 1922 (or 0800-001922).