China / Society

South China city clears up Ebola rumors

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-10-18 13:02

SHENZHEN -- It's Boca, not Ebola.

Health authorities in the South China metropolis of Shenzhen have clarified rumors that the fatal Ebola virus was in town following a human Boca Virus case that was reportedly found in the city's airport on Friday.

The city's health and family planning commission said in a statement that the city's entry-exit inspection and quarantine bureau hadn't detected any Ebola cases, and the reported case is a five-year-old boy infected with the Boca Virus.

"There is some misunderstanding and panic among citizens. The Chinese names of the two diseases are a little bit similar, which may cause confusion," said Peng Chaoqiong, an expert with the city's disease control and prevention center.

Boca Virus, passed through airborne transmission, makes children ages six months to three years old vulnerable to pneumonia, bronchitis, bronchopneumonia and other diseases, with symptoms of cough, fever, gasping, and diarrhea. Autumn is high occurrence season for the virus, said Peng.

China remains on high alert against Ebola, which has killed more than 4,500 people since the world's worst outbreak on record began in West Africa in March.

Though no cases have been reported in China yet, the National Health and Family Planning Commission has urged medical organizations nationwide to step up preparations for potential cases.

China has also published a book on preventing and treating common diseases in Africa, highlighting the Ebola virus.

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