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Outbreak of Ebola in China unlikely: expert

Xinhua, August 14, 2014 Adjust font size:

A Chinese expert said Wednesday that the possibility of an Ebola outbreak in China is extremely low, although the virus may enter the country.

Dong Xiaoping, research fellow with the Institute of Virus of Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC), said the possibility of Ebola entering China through fruit bats, its natural vector, and other animals is very low. However, it may enter China through humans in individual cases. Risks of this kind can be controlled with strengthened checks at customs.

Dong said the spread of Ebola in China is unlikely even if Ebola cases are found, as China is capable of disease control and prevention.

"Even though human cases are reported, we can control families, communities and hospitals so that the virus cannot spread further," Dong said at a press briefing for the National Health and Family Planning Commission.

Dong said the virus can survive for several hours in bed sheets, clothes and other environments, longer in liquids and at low temperatures. Exposing it to 60 degrees centigrade for one hour, or boiling in water for five minutes, will kill the virus. It is also vulnerable to common chemical sanitizer and ultraviolet rays.

The possible infection sources are limited and easily identified. In addition, the genome of Ebola is stable, so it can be studied and cured, Dong said.

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