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June 28, 2017

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Taiwan on alert amid Ebola scare in Hong Kong

TAIPEI and HONG KONG -- Taiwan is now on alert as Hong Kong news media has reported a suspected case of the deadly Ebola virus, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said Sunday.

The 32-year-old Nigerian man, who arrived in Hong Kong from Nigeria Aug. 7, was hospitalized with vomiting and diarrhea and has since been quarantined at a different hospital on suspicion of infection with the Ebola virus, according to the news report.

The man later tested negative for the deadly virus. Hong Kong's city government said in a statement late Sunday that the man had "tested negative for Ebola virus upon preliminary laboratory testing".

"In the past one month ... he had no contact history with sick persons or animals and did not visit health-care facilities. He is currently in stable condition," a government spokesman said in the statement.

Taiwan's Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chou Jih-haw said his agency has contacted the relevant Hong Kong authorities and is paying close attention to the matter.

Chou said Taiwan has formed an emergency response task force and strengthened other measures in response to the latest development in Hong Kong.

The CDC said Friday it had assigned a special unit to stay on top of the development of the Ebola epidemic, after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the deadly disease outbreak in West Africa to be an international public health emergency.

The unit will work with the Immigration Agency and Foreign Ministry to provide visitors to and from the affected and at-risk areas with relevant information on the risks, measures to minimize those risks, and advice for managing potential exposure, the CDC said.

The affected areas are mainly the West African countries of Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria, where the number of Ebola cases stood at 1,779, including 961 deaths as of Aug. 6, according to the WHO.

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