Health and Science

Wash eggs to avoid salmonella, experts say

HYGIENIC COOKING: While salmonella can be treated with antibiotics, infants, elderly people and people with a weakened immune system can suffer serious complications

Taipei Times
Date: Jun 09, 2019
By: Lin Hui-chin  /  Staff reporter

People should wash eggs before cooking them and avoid storing them at room

Two eggs sit on a cutting board on Thursday. Doctors say that washing eggs before cooking them and not storing them at room temperature helps to avoid salmonella contamination.
Photo: Lin Hui-chin, Taipei Times

temperature or eating raw or half-cooked eggs to prevent salmonella infection, health experts said on Friday.

Local Chinese-language media reported that the Chiayi District Prosecutors’ Office on Thursday indicted four people running a breakfast eatery in Chiayi County after a student died and 44 people fell sick after allegedly eating their meals.

People can contract salmonellosis — an infection caused by salmonella bacteria — by eating food tainted by animal or human feces, such as uncooked or half-boiled eggs, milk and meat products, the Centers for Disease Control said.

Infants and adults with urinary incontinence are more vulnerable to the disease, it said.

Acute gastroenteritis is one of the disease’s most common symptoms, while nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever and stomach pain can occur within six to 48 hours of infection, the centers said.    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan halts exports of Kinmen pork products

AN ‘ASSAULT’: After 10 carcasses that washed up on Kinmen tested positive for swine fever, the Ocean Affairs Council told China to ‘get your pigs in order’

Taipei Times
Date: Jun 09, 2019
By: Staff writer, with CNA

The government has suspended the export of pigs and pork products from Kinmen County

Disease prevention staff wearing protective clothing guard a pig carcass on a beach in Kinmen’s Jinhu Township on Tuesday.
Photo provided by Kinmen County Government

for at least one week after another two dead pigs that drifted to the outlying county close to China tested positive for African swine fever.

The two carcasses were found on Tuesday and Wednesday, and the polymerase chain reaction test of samples from them revealed they had been infected with the virus, the African Swine Fever Response Center said.

To prevent an outbreak of African swine fever in Taiwan proper, Kinmen County would be banned from exporting its pigs and pork products to Taiwan’s mainland and other outlying islands under Taiwan’s jurisdiction for at least a week, the center said.

However, seven companies in Kinmen that passed the government’s inspections could still sell their products to Taiwan proper and nearby outlying islands, it added.

McDonald’s inspected over alleged foreign object found in burger

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2019/03/19
By: Chiang Chun-liang, Wu Hsin-yun and William Yen

Taipei, March 19 (CNA) A McDonald’s fast food restaurant in Chiayi City is being

Image taken from Pixabay

inspected by local health authorities after a customer was allegedly injured by a sharp object after biting into a burger, an official said Tuesday.

A 27-year-old man, surnamed Shih (施), was taken to a hospital emergency room by McDonald’s employees early that day after complaining to them that he had been cut by a sharp object in his burger and was bleeding from the mouth, according to Liao Yu-wei (廖育瑋), deputy chief of Chiayi City Health Bureau.

Shih is in a stable condition after receiving treatment and a tetanus shot, Liao added.

Health inspectors have already been dispatched to the McDonald’s restaurant and if any negligence is found the outlet could be fined NT$60,000 (US$1,948) to NT$200 million in accordance with the Act Governing Food Safety and Sanitation, Liao said.

Type-A flu cluster infection contained: Taipei hospital

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2019/03/08
By: Liang Pei-chi and Ko Lin

Taipei, March 8 (CNA) A Taipei hospital’s community health care home in which five people were confirmed to have been infected with type-A influenza virus said on Friday that the cluster infection has been contained.

The patients are now recovering, said Chen Shu-ting (陳淑廷), head of the Medical Affairs Office of the Renai branch of Taipei City Hospital.

A total of six of the patients who live at the health care home developed flu-like symptoms from March 2 to 7, Chen said.

Following flu antigen detection tests, five were later confirmed as having developed type-A flu, suggesting a cluster infection, she said.    [FULL  STORY]

Youth retinal detachment more prevalent in Taiwan

Taipei Times
Date: Mar 02, 2019
By: Lin Hui-chin, Wu Liang-yi and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporters, with staff writer

The high rate of myopia among young Taiwanese could be the main contributing factor to an increase in

An ophthalmologist examines a patient in Taipei on Thursday.Photo: Lin Huei-chin, Taipei Times

retinal detachments, doctors said, citing National Health Insurance Administration statistics.

Retinal detachment is more prevalent in Taiwan than in other nations, especially among those aged 20 to 30, research by Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital Department of Ophthalmology doctor Wu Pei-chang (吳佩昌) showed.

Thirteen times more people in the age group have the condition compared with the Netherlands, Wu said, adding that the agency’s statistics showed that more than 100 young people undergo surgery for retinal detachment every year.

The high prevalence of retinal detachment is directly related to the large number of people with high myopia, Wu said.    [FULL  STORY]

Kaohsiung doctor seeking volunteers for face transplant

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2019/01/09
By: Chen Chi-fong and Flor Wang

Kaohsiung, Jan. 9 (CNA) A Kaohsiung-based surgeon is seeking volunteers to undergo

Photo taken from Pixabay

Taiwan’s first face transplant operation after gaining approval from the central government to do so in November 2018.

Kuo Yur-ren (郭耀仁), director of the Department of Surgery at Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital and the key figure on its face transplant team, told CNA Wednesday he has been looking for volunteers with facial disfigurement to do a transplant since being given the green light by the Ministry of Health and Welfare.

Prior to receiving approval, the hospital had patients ask about the possibility of the procedure last year, but no action was taken because of the lack of a legal basis, Kuo explained.

The concept of face transplants grabbed popular attention in the 1997 thriller Face/Off, leading local media to dub Kuo’s search as an attempt to bring the movie to life in Taiwan, where the procedure has never been done.    [FULL  STORY]

Track pigs with GPS, vets say

QUARANTINE LOOPHOLES: It is difficult to require hog farms to install GPS devices, given that smaller farmers use their vehicles for various purposes, an official said

Taipei Times
Date: Jan 09, 2019
By: Lin Chia-nan and Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporters

The Council of Agriculture should require vehicles transporting pigs to install GPS

Pigs are pictured in a pen on a pig farm in Hualien County on Sunday.
Photo: CNA

devices for retroactive tracking in the event that African swine fever enters the nation, veterinary experts said yesterday.

Since China reported the first infection in early August last year, the council has been increasing its quarantine measures against the disease, while experts continue to identify possible loopholes.

At a meeting with council officials yesterday, academics urged the council to close quarantine loopholes and brace for the worst-case scenario if unfortunately the disease enters the nation.

The disease can be latent for up to 15 days and the council should think about how to track transmission if any infection is reported, National Chung Hsing University Department of Animal Science dean Chen Chih-feng (陳志峰) said, adding that the fight against the disease could last for decades.    [FULL  STORY]

ASF found 10 times in meat products brought in from China: BAPHIQ

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2019/01/06
By: Wu Hsin-yun and William Yen

CNA file photo

Taipei, Jan. 6 (CNA) Since August 2018, there have been 10 cases in which meat products brought into Taiwan by travelers have tested positive for the African swine fever (ASF) virus, according to the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine (BAPHIQ).

Over the almost five-month period, it has tested 678 of the 708 meat products it has found brought in from China, the BAPHIQ data showed Saturday.

Among them, 10 were confirmed to be infected with the ASF virus, the BAPHIQ said.

In six of the 10 cases, the meat products were found in Customs disposal containers, three at Kinmen’s Shuitou Pier, and one each at Taichung International Airport, Kaohsiung International Airport (KIA) and Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (TTIA), BAPHIQ data showed.    [FULL  STORY]

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]