Taiwan Center for Disease Control holds Ebola risk assessment meeting

CDC prepares for worst after WHO alert over Ebola outbreak in Congo

 CDC Deputy Director-General, Chuang Jen-hsiang

CDC Deputy Director-General, Chuang Jen-hsiang (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – In light of the worsening Ebola epidemic in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Taiwan’s Center for Disease Control (CDC) held a risk assessment meeting on July 18 in response to the recent alarm raised by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The WHO on July 17 declared the Ebola outbreak in the central African country a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern,” which is the most severe warning issued by the organization. As the disease has proven hard to contain, the possibility of disease transmission across national borders or even overseas has increased.

Yesterday (July 18), the CDC stated that an average of 51 people travel between Taiwan and the DRC annually. The goal of the risk assessment meeting was to consider hypothetical transmission scenarios in order to facilitate an effective government response.

Over 2,500 Congolese have been infected since the outbreak was declared on August 1, 2018. Nearly 1,700 of those have died, while around 700 have been cured, reports the Atlantic.

The WHO has noted that porous borders, populations displaced by military conflict in the region, and widespread public distrust of doctors in the DRC have all contributed to the dangerous situation, prompting the WHO to issue its warning.

Taiwan’s CDC Deputy Director-General, Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), said on Thursday that there is an active alert for any Taiwanese person traveling in the region of central Africa. Chuang also emphasized that the government is reviewing methods for screening against Ebola, quarantine measures, and equipment inventories, should they be required, reports Liberty Times.