A website that falsely report, “22 cases of the Ebola Virus have been confirmed in Taipei” has prompted the Taiwan Center for Disease Control (CDC) to issue a warning with threats of fines and jail time for those spreading such inaccurate rumor Nov.7.
CDC staff found the English-language article Friday morning by an anonymous author. In addition to the false claims of 22 Ebola cases in Taipai, it also urged that residents stay home and keep abreast of the latest developments through television news, CDC Deputy Director-General Chou Jih-haw said.
“The Web site on which the unsubstantiated article is posted is an overseas online platform,” Chou said, adding that the CDC has yet to determine “whether the author is residing in Taiwan or abroad.”
The CDC said spreading such inaccurate rumor is in violation of Article 63 of the Communicable Disease Control Act, which states that “Persons who spread rumors concerning epidemic conditions of communicable diseases or disseminate incorrect information regarding epidemic conditions, resulting in damages to the public or others, shall be fined up to NT$ 500,000”, as well as Item 5 of Article 63 of the Social Order Maintenance Act, which states that “People engaged in spreading rumors in a way that is sufficient to undermine public order and peace shall be punishable by detention of not more than three days or a fine of not more than of NTD 30,000”.
Taiwan CDC has reported this case to the judicial police for further investigation. At the same time, Taiwan CDC urges the public to refrain from committing such crimes.
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The Taiwan CDC has ruled out two suspected Ebola cases to date, both in Nigerian national:
For the first case, in the evening of October 9, 2014, the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control received a report of suspected Ebola case in a 45-year-old Nigerian woman from a hospital in Northern Taiwan. In the afternoon of October 2, the case arrived in Taiwan. On October 8, she experienced fever (unmeasured), elbow pain and knee pain. In the afternoon of October 9, she sought medical attention at a hospital. The case stated that none of her family members or close friends hads experienced suspected symptoms, she had not visited anyone in the hospital, and she had not been exposed to wild animals. After a preliminary evaluation, the hospital reported the case to Taiwan CDC. The patient was immediately isolated in the hospital. As soon as specimens were collected from the patient, they were submitted to Taiwan CDC for laboratory testing. The test result showed the patient is negative for the Ebola virus.
For the second case, in the morning of October 20, 2014, officials from the China Health and Family Planning Commission confirmed that the 55-year-old Nigerian male who boarded a plane from the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport to Ningbo, China and was detected with a fever through the fever screening procedure tested negative for the Ebola virus. As a result, the monitoring period for flight crews on same flight ended immediately.
The traveler boarded a plane from Lagos, Nigeria on October 6 to Brussels, Belgium by way of Dubai. The traveler boarded another plane from Brussels, Belgium to Taipei, Taiwan by way of Dubai. The traveler arrived in Taiwan on October 14. The traveler boarded another plane to Ningbo, China from the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport in the afternoon of October 16. Upon his arrival in China, he was detected with a fever and was therefore admitted to a hospital for further examination and laboratory testing.
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