Fri | Dec 9, 2016

Ebola expert says China at risk

Published:Friday | October 31, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Medical staff are dressed in protective suits as they wait by an ambulance at the Sunan International Airport, in Pyongyang, North Korea. North Korea last week stepped up its measures to prevent the spread of the Ebola virus.

TOKYO (AP): A scientist who helped to discover the Ebola virus says he is concerned that the disease could spread to China, given the large numbers of Chinese workers traveling to and from Africa.

Peter Piot, who is director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said yesterday it's not "rocket science" that with many exchanges between the two regions the disease could spread.

"The concern I have is that I don't think you can really stop people from travelling. These patients will show up in any country in the world, but China is quite vulnerable," Piot said.

"The issue is: What is the quality, the standard of infection control? In public hospitals in China, the ones that I've visited, the level of infection control is very poor," he said.

More than 8,600 people have entered China's southern Guangdong province from Ebola-affected areas since August, and there are dozens of flights a month. All arriving from those areas are monitored for three weeks after they enter China and are to be immediately quarantined if they run a fever, according to Health Ministry guidelines.