The Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (Taiwan CDC) pointed out that during the Ministry of Health and Welfare Infectious Disease Control and Prevention Advisory Committee: Division of Influenza Control and Prevention Meeting in Preparedness to Potential Influenza Outbreak during the Chinese New Year Holiday held on January 2, 2020, participating experts discussed the ongoing pneumonia outbreak in Wuhan, China. The experts recommended that in addition to the existing measure of onboard quarantine inspection, all healthcare facilities should reinforce case reporting of clinically severe cases of pneumonia among people who arrive in Taiwan from Wuhan, and all healthcare workers should strictly adhere to standard precautions for preventing nosocomial infection, wearing N95 respirators as required while performing invasive medical procedures such as intubation and tracheostomy.
According to the Hong Kong Hospital Authority, the patient admitted to Tuen Mun Hospital in Hong Kong after a trip to Wuhan and developing upper respiratory tract infection symptoms is in stable condition and receiving treatment in an isolation ward at the hospital. Rapid diagnostic tests showed that the case was negative for influenza, SARS, and avian influenza. To prevent imported cases, Taiwan has implemented relevant response and preparedness measures for border quarantine inspection according to the standard operating procedures, including reinforcing fever screening of arriving passengers, screening suspected cases through inquiring about their history of travel, occupation, contact, and cluster, conducting health assessments, carrying out onboard quarantine inspection of direct flights from Wuhan, China and promoting relevant prevention measures among travelers.
Taiwan CDC urges travelers planning to visit China recently to adhere the “5 Do’s and 6 Don’ts” guidelines to ward off infections. The “5 Do’s” include: consume only thoroughly cooked poultry and eggs; wash hands thoroughly with soap; wear a face mask and seek medical attention when symptoms develop; get vaccinated if you have long-term exposure to poultry; eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly. The “6 Don’ts” include: don’t consume raw poultry, eggs, or poultry products; don’t smuggle or purchase poultry products from unknown sources; don’t touch or feed migratory birds or poultry; don’t release birds into the wild or randomly abandon them; don’t keep domesticated and wild poultry together; don’t visit poorly ventilated or crowded places.
If fever or influenza-like illness symptoms develop upon arriving in Taiwan, please voluntarily notify the airline crew and the quarantine officer at the quarantine station in the airport/port. For travelers who have visited China recently, if symptoms such as fever or acute respiratory tract symptoms develop within 10 days after returning to Taiwan, please call the Communicable Disease Reporting and Consultation Hotline at 1922 to report the symptoms to the competent authority, put on a surgical mask and seek immediate medical attention. Moreover, please inform the physician of any history of travel, occupation, contact, and cluster (TOCC) to facilitate timely diagnosis, prompt case-reporting, and comprehensive treatment. For more information, please visit the Taiwan CDC website at http://www.cdc.gov.tw or call the toll-free Communicable Disease Reporting and Consultation Hotline, 1922 (or 0800-001922).