Health and Science

ASF virus found in Chinese meat product: COA

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2018/10/31
By: Wu Hsin-yun and Flor Wang 

Taipei, Oct. 31 (CNA) Amid government efforts to keep African Swine Fever (ASF) at bay, the Council of Agriculture (COA) announced Wednesday that a Chinese meat product brought by passengers into Taiwan has been detected to contain the deadly virus.

“The Animal Health Research Institute discovered the ASF virus today in a meat product brought by passengers from China to Kinmen,” COA Deputy Minister Huang Chin-cheng (黃金城) told a news conference.

The tainted product, Chinese crispy sausage, was sent to the institute for examination after being collected by institute officers Oct. 25 from a garbage container at Shuitou Port in offshore Kinmen County, apparently having been discarded by passengers coming from China’s Fujian Province via the ferry services between the two destinations, Huang explained.

According to Huang, the sausage was made by Shuanghai — the largest processed food maker in China. Shuanghui’s meat products have been repeatedly found to contain the ASF virus since the outbreak of the disease in China first surfaced Aug. 3, he noted.

Taiwan looking to build health ties in Asia-Pacific: Chen

Taipei Times
Date: Oct 29, 2018
By: Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

The annual Global Health Forum in Taiwan opened yesterday in Taipei, with Vice

Vice President Chen Chien-jen attends the first day of the Global Health Forum in Taiwan yesterday in Taipei.  Photo: George Tsorng, Taipei Times

President Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) saying that the nation is looking forward to strengthening Asia-Pacific ties to increase cooperation in the areas of medicine and health, and promoting health-related industrial links.

The theme of the forum is “Resilience: New Challenges and Opportunities for Global Health.”

Taiwan is a member of the global public health community and it has taken the annual forum seriously for the past 14 years, Chen said.

Many nations are facing the challenges brought by rapidly aging populations and high prevalence of chronic diseases that call for better medical and public health environments as well as social welfare services, he said.    [FULL  STORY]

Whitebait a good source of calcium… and cholesterol

Radio Taiwan International
Date: 2018-09-17

Tiny white fish – known as whitebait – are commonly eaten in Taiwan. It’s a delicacy consisting of immature fish from a number of different species, including anchovies and sardines. But while people often eat them for their health benefits, health experts are sounding the alarm.

These tiny “whitebait” are often served up in soups and porridges in Taiwan. They not only add flavor to the dish, they are also a good source of calcium.

But health experts are warning that there are health concerns, too. That’s because they are consumed whole, which means you ingest the intestines and fat, and a surprising amount of cholesterol for such a tiny fish.    [FULL  STORY]

CDC confirms first cluster of imported typhoid cases this year

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2018/09/11
By: Chen Wei-ting and Ko Lin

Taipei, Sept. 11 (CNA) The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on Tuesday confirmed the

Image taken from Pixabay

first cluster of imported typhoid fever cases this year and urged the public to pay attention to food sanitation when traveling to areas where typhoid is endemic.

The patients, a new immigrant mother and her eldest son, were on a family visit to Indonesia from Aug. 6-19.

Upon their return, the woman suffered from diarrhea and abdominal pain, said CDC Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥).

She sought medical assistance three times from Aug. 20-30, and later tests confirmed she had contracted typhoid, Chuang said.    [FULL  STORY]

Southern Taiwanese city of Tainan reports year’s first indigenous dengue fever case

Taiwan News  
Date: 2018/09/11
By:  Central News Agency

A 78-year-old woman has become the first reported indigenous dengue fever case in

Tainan sees a case of dengue fever. (By Central News Agency)

Tainan this year, health authorities in the southern city announced Tuesday.

The woman living in Tainan’s South District sought medical treatment and underwent screening for dengue Sunday after feeling unwell that day and coming down with a fever. She was hospitalized the following day, said Chen Yi, head of the city government’s dengue fever prevention and control center.

The woman was later confirmed to have dengue virus type 4 (DENV-4), Chen said.

The Tainan health authorities also determined the patient to be this year’s first indigenous dengue fever case in the southern city, according to Chen.    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan university develops battery costing only 5% of lithium ones

Date: 13 April 2018
By: Rebecca Kuo, Tainan; Joseph Tsai, DIGITIMES

Taiwan’s National Cheng Kung University has developed an eco-friendly battery using

National Cheng Kung University develops a sodium ion-based battery
Photo: NCKU

sodium ion electrolyte as the source. The battery’s non-corrosive, non-toxic and non-explosive characteristics have made it suitable for storing power generated by wind and solar power systems, and can be applied near agricultural or water source areas without creating hazard, the developers said.

Since the electrolyte is diluted from sodium phosphate powder, which is cheap to acquire at NT$300 (US$10) per kilogram, the costs for making the battery are only 5% of those of a lithium battery.

However, the battery only features a maximum capacity of 60mAh/g, which is only half of the lithium battery’s 120mAh/g.    [SOURCE]

TAIWAN: Eating Out, Lack of Exercise Behind Rising Heart Disease

Heart disease is now the number two cause of death in Taiwan.

The News Lens
Date: 2018/03/26
By: By Matthew Fulco,

Credit: REUTERS/Nicky Loh

Last year my family and I moved into an apartment building with a small gym. There are treadmills, an elliptical trainer, an exercise bike, and dumbbell sets – enough equipment for a full workout.

It’s almost like having a private gym in my home. Even at peak times for gym use like early evening, I rarely have to share the space. In an 11-story building with multiple apartments on each floor, there are just a handful of people who use the fitness center.

As it turns out, my experience is not unique. A 2015 survey by the Health Promotion Administration (HPA) under the Ministry of Health and Welfare found that 76 percent of Taiwanese don’t get enough exercise. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends at least 150 minutes a week of moderate physical exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity.    [FULL  STORY]

Physical inactivity is a top risk factor for heart disease, the No. 2 cause of mortality in Taiwan after cancer. In 2016 nearly 21,000 people died of cardiovascular disease in Taiwan, according to government data. The heart disease mortality rate rose 0.37 percent that year.

Ask Dr. Scott: Taiwan newspaper article details country’s battle against tobacco

The Daily Republic
Date: Jan 10, 2018
By Scott Anderson

While boarding a flight from Singapore to Taiwan, I recently picked up a complimentary copy of the Taipei Times. Taiwan is considered part of China under the “One China Policy,” as embraced by the United States.

The island maintains an edgy relationship, however, with the People’s Republic, which regards Taiwan as a renegade province.

The local newspaper, in addition to covering politics, contained a sophisticated analysis of cigarette smoking in Asia, titled, “Tobacco Must be Strictly Controlled.” It was authored by Wen-Chi Pan, of the National Health Research Institutes, and Wayne Gao, of Taipei Medical University.

I learned about the universal and culture-specific issues relative to this concern.

Protests demanding less air pollution apparently crop up in Taiwan, prompted by fear of lung cancer. Most Taiwanese women who contract this malignancy are non-smokers, perhaps contributing to the air quality concerns.    [FULL  STORY]

New act now makes it easier for foreigners to work in Taiwan

Radio Taiwan International
Date: 2018-02-08

It is now easier for foreigners to work and reside in Taiwan. That’s because Taiwan’s

Deputy head of the National Development Council Kao Shien-quey announces relaxed rules for foreign professionals going into effect on Thursday. (CNA file photo)

more relaxed rules for foreign professionals went into effect on Thursday. The new act’s aim is to recruit foreign talents in the areas of technology, economics, and finance.

The Act for the Recruitment and Employment of Foreign Professionals means that foreigners can freely seek and change jobs on their own. For the first time, they will be able to apply for permanent residency. The adult children of foreign professionals can also apply for permanent residency and work permits.

In addition, the act will allow foreigners to teach more subjects at cram schools. The council’s deputy head Kao Shien-quey explained.    [FULL  STORY]

Two more indigenous cases of dengue fever reported in Taiwan

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2017/09/28
By: Chen Wei-ting and William Yen

Taipei, Sept. 28 (CNA) Two more indigenous cases of dengue fever infection have

Image taken from Pixabay

been found in a couple residing in New Taipei City, northern Taiwan, said the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Thursday.

The couple aged in their 50s showed symptoms of continuous fever, muscle aches, joint pain and fatigue and was diagnosed with Type 1 dengue virus Wednesday after being admitted to hospital.

They have no record of leaving the country and have not been to the southern parts of Taiwan where dengue fever is more pronounced, CDC Deputy Director-General Philip Lo (羅一鈞) said.

According to test results, the virus strain is similar to those prevalent in Vietnam, hence it is possible that the source of infection may be an imported case hidden in the vicinity of the couple’s residence, said Lo.    [FULL  STORY]