TAIPEI (Taiwan News)--Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (Taiwan CDC) Wednesday advised travelers visiting China during the week-long Lunar New Year holiday to practice good personal hygiene to ward off avian influenza infection.
This season, a cumulative total of three H7N9 cases, including one death, have been respectively confirmed in Yunnan Province, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, and Guangdong Province, China, Taiwan CDC said in a travel advice issued on Wednesday. Thus far, the number of H7N9 cases confirmed in China this season is significantly less than those reported in the past years, which might have been a result of the implementation of H7N9 influenza vaccination among domestic birds in China, the agency said, adding that, nevertheless, sporadic human cases are expected to continuously occur.
Currently, Taiwan CDC has issued a travel notice of Level 2: Alert for human infections with novel influenza A viruses to Anhui Province, Fujian Province, Guangdong Province, the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Guizhou Province, Hebei Province, Hunan Province, Jiangsu Province, Liaoning Province, the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Shaanxi Province, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, and Yunnan Province, and a travel notice of Level 1: Watch for avian influenza to the other provinces and cities in China, excluding Hong Kong and Macau, as well as Indonesia.
To ward off avin influenza and novel influenza A infection, Taiwan CDC urges travelers to adhere to the “5 do’s and 6 don’t’s” guidelines. The “5 do’s” include: Consume only thoroughly cooked poultry and eggs; wash hands with soap and water thoroughly; Wear a mask and seek immediate medical attention when symptoms develop, and inform the doctor of your job and exposure history; people who have long-term or repeated exposure to poultry, including poultry growers and workers, should receive influenza vaccine; and eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly.
The “6 don’t’s” include: Don’t consume raw or undercooked poultry, eggs and poultry products; don’t smuggle or purchase poultry from unknown sources; don’t touch or feed migratory birds or poultry; don’t release poultry into the wild or randomly abandon poultry; don’t keep domesticated and wild poultry together; and don’t visit crowded and poorly ventilated public places.
People who develop influenza-like illness symptoms upon arriving in Taiwan should voluntarily notify the airline crew and the quarantine officer at the quarantine station in the airport/port, Taiwan CDC said. If the aforementioned symptoms such as fever and cough develop after returning to Taiwan, please put on a surgical mask and seek immediate medical attention. Moreover, and inform the physician of the recent travel and exposure history to facilitate diagnosis and treatment, the agency said.
For more information, please call the toll-free Communicable Disease Reporting and Consultation Hotline, 1922 (or 0800-001922).