Fri, Jul 29, 2005 - Page 1 News List

Taiwanese urged to avoid outbreak zone

DPA AND CNA , TAIPEI

Taiwan announced measures yesterday to guard against the pig-borne disease that has killed 31 people in China from entering the country.

The government is urging tourists visiting China to stay away from the southern region where the disease has broken out, Cabinet Spokesman Cho Jung-tai (卓榮泰) said at a news conference.

In addition, the Council of Agriculture urged pig and other animal farmers not to visit China at all until the end of the outbreak.

The Environmental Protection Administration also ordered transport companies to install global positioning system transponders on trucks freighting dead pigs to incinerators to prevent them from selling the carcasses at meat markets.

Health workers and veterinarians are concerned about China's pig-borne disease, and say it is strange that the disease can spread so fast and kill so many people. Human infections are rare, and they have said that China might be hiding details of the outbreak.

"Normally streptococcus suis can be treated with antibiotics," Bureau of Animal and Plant Inspections and Quarantines deputy director Yeh Ying (葉塋) said. "It is very strange that it has caused so many deaths in Sichuan."

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