China’s Hunan Province has been added to a list of destinations in that country subject to a Level-2 travel advisory over H7N9 avian influenza concerns, increasing the number of cities and provinces on the government’s list to 10.
Hunan was put on the list after a 64-year-old woman there was confirmed to have the H7N9 flu, the Central Epidemic Command Center in Taipei said late on Saturday, citing information from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
The woman was in contact with live chickens four days prior to showing flu symptoms on April 14, the Chinese center said.
Eight Chinese provinces — Jiangsu, Henan, Zhejiang, Anhui, Shandong, Fujian, Jiangxi and Hunan — and the cities of Shanghai and Beijing are listed on the Level-2 travel advisory. All have reported confirmed human cases of the avian flu.
Under the government’s three-level travel advisory system, a Level-2 alert calls for would-be travelers to China to be more aware of their surroundings and take extra hygienic precautions, especially when visiting certain high-risk places.
The epidemic center issued Level-2, or yellow-colored, travel alerts for parts of China for the first time on April 25 after confirming a day earlier the first human H7N9 case in Taiwan, a 53-year-old Taiwanese businessman who fell ill on April 12, three days after his return from a 12-day visit to Jiangsu Province and Shanghai.
He was listed as in a “serious, but stable condition” on Saturday at National Taiwan University Hospital.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Economic Affairs yesterday said it is monitoring the availability of supplies, such as face masks and thermometers, and would restrict exports of the supplies should the H7N9 outbreak reach a more serious level.
The last time Taiwan limited exports of disease prevention supplies was during the SARS outbreak a decade ago.
As of Saturday, China had 120 confirmed H7N9 cases, with 23 deaths, according to data on Taiwan’s Centers for Disease Control Web site.