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March 29, 2017

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CDC to send 2 doctors to Nigeria for Taiwanese

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) will send two doctors to Nigeria on Monday to bring disease prevention resources to local Taiwanese businessmen and diplomatic staff, helping them to understand more about the Ebola virus and how to prevent the spread of the disease.

In addition, they will also visit several organizations, including the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a local research team, to get first-hand information on the Ebola virus.

According to the CDC, there are about 80 Taiwanese living in Nigeria. Although the World Health Organization (WHO) did not advise against business activities after the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, some Taiwanese still expressed their concerns over the issue.

To ease their concerns and guarantee their health, the CDC coordinated with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and decided to send two doctors — Lo Yi-chun (羅一鈞), CDC chief executive medical officer, and Tsai Huai-Ti (蔡懷德), chief of the Southern Disease Control Center — to Nigeria.

"We are planning to teach them some basic information about the Ebola virus. It is especially important to know how the disease transmits and how to prevent it. In addition, we will also demonstrate how to wear the protective clothing that we are bringing with us," said Lo.

Apart from visiting two major cities, Abuja and Lagos, they also plan to visit some staff from the local Ebola control team to learn first-hand information and witness the latest progress in preventing the spread of the disease.

Lo also pointed out that the disease in Nigeria is under control compared to other countries in the region. Additionally, they will not have direct contact with the patients. Therefore, people should not have to worry about them bringing the disease back to Taiwan.

"We will also keep an eye on our own condition and take (our temperatures) daily after we come back," added Lo.

As for other related actions for preventing the disease, Chou Jih-haw (周志浩), deputy director-general of the CDC, stated that although the disease has not spread to Taiwan, the CDC has already undergone several prevention rehearsals. For example, the CDC already has a plan if suspected patients appear at a local airport. The CDC also deliberated the issue with the Ministry of Education to see if there is any support they can offer to international students from Africa.

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