Date
19 November 2017
Hong Kong has launched a health surveillance questionnaire at the airport for travelers from Ebola-affected countries in West Africa. Photo: GovHK
Hong Kong has launched a health surveillance questionnaire at the airport for travelers from Ebola-affected countries in West Africa. Photo: GovHK

Hong Kong tightens preventive measures against Ebola

Hong Kong has tightened preventive measures against the deadly Ebola virus, Ming Pao Daily reported, citing the city’s Center for Health Protection.

Travelers who had been to outbreak epicenters in West Africa over the past 21 days will be asked to fill in a health surveillance questionnaire, chief port health officer Dr. Edwin Tsui was quoted as saying.

The questionnaire will be voluntary as the World Health Organization has not implemented a compulsory health declaration for travelers from the affected countries, Tsui said.

As of Friday, the outbreak has killed at least 4,555 people in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, the WHO said. Cases were also reported in Nigeria and Senegal.

Tsui said the city receives 15 travelers who hold passports from the five countries every day on average.

Dr. Ho Pak Leung, an associate professor at the University of Hong Kong, said voluntary questionnaires may not be effective, as patients could cover up their health conditions to gain entry.

Aside from the questionnaires, health officials have also prepared measures that will be implemented in case a suspected or confirmed case of Ebola infection is reported.

Travelers who have shown symptoms of the disease will be transferred to Princess Margaret Hospital for monitoring and treatment.

An infected person will typically develop a fever and experience headache, joint and muscle pain, sore throat, and intense muscle weakness.

After an American nurse believed to have been infected by the virus had a fever at 37.5℃, the CHP revised down the city’s fever threshold to 37.5℃ from 38℃-38.6℃, the report said.

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