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Foreign ministry warns travelers to Uganda of Ebola outbreak

2012/08/07 15:45:32

Taipei, Aug. 7 (CNA) Taiwanese planning on visiting Uganda should be aware of an outbreak of Ebola virus there that has left more than a dozen people dead, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Tuesday.

"Those who are traveling to the African country should pay close attention to the situation," said Wang Chien-yeh, the director-general of the ministry's Department of African Affairs.

As of Aug. 3, there were 53 suspected cases of Ebola hemorrhagic fever, including 16 deaths, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The seriousness of the Ebola outbreak has even prompted Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni to urge residents of the country to avoid unnecessary physical contact and unsafe sex, Wang said at a routine press conference.

"Ebola spreads by contact when you contact each other physically. ... Avoid shaking of hands, because that can cause contact through sweat, which can cause problems," AFP quoted Museveni as saying in a state broadcast.

Currently, about 20 Taiwanese businessmen and their families reside in Uganda.

The Ebola virus is transmitted by direct contact with the blood, body fluids and tissues of infected persons. Transmission has also occurred by handling sick or dead infected wild animals.

The Ebola virus can cause severe viral hemorrhagic fever outbreaks in humans and has a fatality rate of up to 90 percent.

(By Nancy Liu)