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Taiwan timely identifies first imported case of 2019 novel coronavirus infection returning from Wuhan, China through onboard quarantine; Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) raises travel notice level for Wuhan, China to Level 3: Warning

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On January 21, 2020, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced the first confirmed imported case of 2019 novel coronavirus infection(2019-nCoV) in Taiwan. The case is an over-50-year-old female who resides in southern Taiwan and works in Wuhan, China. On January 20, she took a flight back to Taiwan from Wuhan. Due to her self-reported and observed symptoms, including fever, cough, and shortness of breath, she was transferred to a designated hospital by the airport quarantine officer after arrival. A chest X-ray confirmed that she had pneumonia. In addition, infection with 2019-nCoV was laboratory-confirmed in the case on January 21. As of now, she is being treated in a negative pressure isolation room at the hospital. As the transfer from airplane to the hospital was specially arranged, the patient did not lead to any contact in the community. The public is urged to remain calm.

CECC pointed out that the hospital and the corresponding local health authority have both followed the standard operation procedures to report the case, collect specimens from the case, treat the case in isolation, conduct epidemiological investigation, and follow up the 46 contacts on the same flight. The isolation will only be lifted after the patient is symptom-free and tested negative for 2019-nCoV twice. Concerning Taiwan’s first confirmed case, CECC has simultaneously notified the World Health Organization (WHO) through the National IHR Foal Point.

As the number of cases in Wuhan is increasing rapidly, a leading infectious disease expert in china have strongly advised travelers against visiting Wuhan. On January 21, WHO furthen pointed out that the 2019-nCoV might have sustained human-to-human transmission. As the first imported case from Wuhan has been confirmed in Taiwan, CECC announced raising the travel notice level for Wuhan to Level 3: Warning, reminding the public to avoid all non-essential travels to Wuhan.

As the pneumonia outbreak caused by 2019-nCoV in China has obviously resulted in community transmission and spread, CECC will continue to integrate resources across government agencies, reinforce implementation of quarantine measures at international including cross-strait airports and ports, reinforce risk communication with the public and public awareness about the disease, ensure the preparation of pharmaceutical and medical supplies to prevent the occurrence of fake news concerning mask shortages and price gouging and reduce public panic, and plan and conduct drills for hospital infection control at healthcare facilities in order to minimize the impact of the outbreak on Taiwan, tackle the threats and challenges posed by the outbreak, and ensure the health of the Taiwanese public.

Taiwan CDC recommeds travelers visiting Wuhan or other neighboring areas in China wash hands thoroughly with soap, wear a face mask and seek medical attention when coughing, avoid contact with wild animals and patients with acute respiratory infections, and avoid visiting traditional markets and healthcare facilities throughout the trip. If symptoms such as fever or cough develop upon arriving in Taiwan, please voluntarily notify the quarantine officer at the airport/port. If the aforementioned symptoms develop within 14 days after returning to Taiwan, please put on a surgical mask and seek immediate medical attention. Moreover, please inform the physician of any history of travel, occupation, contact, and cluster (TOCC) to facilitate timely diagnosis and prompt case-reporting. For more information on 2019-nCoV, please visit the Taiwan CDC website at http://www.cdc.gov.tw or call the toll-free Communicable Disease Reporting and Consultation Hotline, 1922 (or 0800-001922).

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LONDON, Jan. 30 (Xinhua) -- Antibiotic resistant "superbug" genes originated in India were found in the High Arctic, a new study has shown.

The genes associated with resistance to antibiotics were discovered in soil samples from the Kongsfjorden region, a remote place in the High Arctic, said a study published in the academic journal Environment International on Monday.

Some of the detected genes, which are almost certainly not "local" to the Arctic, can confer resistance to multiple drugs.

The discovery confirmed the spread of blaNDM-1 (called New Delhi Metallo-beta-lactamase-1) into the High Arctic.

By far, a total of 131 such genes have been discovered by scientists, including the one first detected in urban India in 2008.

Since British scientists found the "superbug" in New Delhi's public water supply later, the resistant genes have been found in over 100 countries, including new variants.

It is estimated that some 70 perent of bacteria that cause infections are resistant to at least one antibiotic used to treat them, largely fueled by their overuse.

"What humans have done through excess use of antibiotics on global scale is accelerate the rate of evolution, creating a new world of resistant strains that never existed before," said David Graham, professor of Ecosystems Engineering at Newcastle University in Britain.

"This finding has huge implications for global antibiotic resistant spread," he warned.

By 2050, 10 million people could die each year if existing antibiotics continue to lose their effectiveness, according to the UK Review on Antimicrobial Resistance.