Mon, Jan 06, 2014 - Page 3 News List

MAC, CDC warn on travel to Shanghai after H7N9 case

Staff writer, with CNA

The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) on Saturday issued a yellow travel alert for Shanghai, a day after the city confirmed a new case of human H7N9 avian influenza.

The council upgraded its epidemic travel advisory for Shanghai to a level-2 alert, the same level set last year for travel to China’s Guangdong, Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces after those areas reported confirmed cases of H7N9 avian influenza.

It also urged people to pay special attention to their health and safety if travel to Shanghai cannot be avoided.

The new H7N9 case, that of an 86-year-old man, brought the total number of confirmed H7N9 cases in China to 13 since October last year, including five each in Zhejiang and Guangdong, two in Hong Kong and one in Shanghai, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported on Saturday.

Since March 31, last year, China and Hong Kong have reported 147 confirmed human H7N9 cases, including 48 fatalities, the CDC said.

Taiwan has confirmed two imported human cases of H7N9 avian influenza.

One involving a Taiwanese businessman who fell ill after returning from a trip to Jiangsu Province in April last year, but made a full recovery after a month of intensive care.

The second one involved an 86-year-old Chinese tourist who arrived in Taipei on Dec. 17 last year and was hospitalized on Dec. 24, the CDC said.

The council asked Taiwanese to pay special attention to travel safety if heading to China and reconsider their travel plans, warning that the H7N9 virus could spread to southern China.

The council also urged people who have to travel to epidemic areas in China to avoid direct contact with birds or poultry, wash their hands frequently, wear a surgical mask, not feed wild birds and not eat uncooked meat and eggs.

If travelers to those areas develop a fever and cough, they should promptly see medical attention after returning home, the council said.

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