Wednesday, January 18, 2017

H7N9: Korean CDC Warns Travellers To China During Seollal


In China, the Lunar New Year Holiday is called Chunyun, or the Spring Festival travel season. What we usually call Chinese New Year's.  But this holiday is widely celebrated all across Asia.  In Vietnam it is called Tết Nguyên Đán or Feast of the First Morning.  Tết for short.

While in Korea it is called Seollal. But by whatever name, the lunar new year is the most important holiday in all of Asia.

Factories and businesses may close for a week or longer. It is an occasion for family gatherings, and sparks the largest human migration on earth as hundreds of millions of people leave the cities and travel to back their home towns (often on crowded trains and buses) for a traditional family dinner (usually chicken) .
It is also a perennial concern for epidemiologists who see this as a great opportunity for infectious diseases to spread quickly and widely. 
This year, with China's H7N9 epidemic arriving earlier, and with more force than we've seen before, there are heightened concerns, and many Health Ministries around the world are warning people planning to visit Mainland China to avoid exposure to live birds and farms, and to monitor their health carefully for up to 10 days after leaving.

Yesterday we saw the HK CHP Statement On The Spike In H7N9 Cases In Guangdong, which included extensive advice to travellers to the mainland, while Taiwan's CDC issued a similar statement yesterday called The recent surge in cases of H7N9 in mainland China, to remind people to local poultry should avoid contact with live poultry market access.

Today, it is South Korea's turn, with the following (translated) statement from their CDC, which points out that they see - on average - 32,000 people each day entering their country from China (either visiting or returning to Korea).
A number that no doubt goes up in the immediate aftermath of Seollal.

While exported H7N9 cases outside of Hong Kong and Macao have been rare (see H7N9 Confirmed In 2nd B.C. and  EID Journal: Avian Influenza (H7N9) Virus Infection in Chinese Tourist in Malaysia, 2014), they have occurred, and so for the next month or six weeks public health agencies around the world will be on heightened alert as millions of travelers return from visiting China. 

 AI (H7N9) when traveling to China

AI in China (H7N9) Poultry contact caution when traveling due to increased human infection
◇ Submission of health status questionnaire in China, 10 days after contact with poultry in China ☏1339 (Disease Control Center Call Center)
◇ Latter-day Seniors In case of foreign travel,
□ Due to the increased incidence of human cases of H7N9 * AI (bird flu) in China, the Disease Control Headquarters (head of the headquarters) is urging Chinese travelers to avoid contact with poultry during their travels and to protect themselves from handwashing .
* H7N9 type AI is different from H5N6 which is currently prevalent in domestic birds, and there was no large-scale epidemic or human infection in Korea
The number of human cases of AI (H7N9) in China has soared in recent years, a total of 140 persons * (37 deaths) since October 16, and has already exceeded the total number of patients (121) last season.
* Jiangsu Province (58), Zhejiang Province (23), Guangdong Province (22), Anhui Province (14), Jiangxi Province (7), Fujian Province (4), Guizhou Province and Hunan Province 3 persons), Shandong Province (2 persons), Shanghai, Sichuan Province, Hebei Province, Hubei Province (1 person)

○ Since the first case of AI (H7N9) human infection occurred in 2013, China is seasonally prevalent from October to April of next year, and it is expected that human cases will continue to occur for the time being.
□ In cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Disease Control Headquarters is in charge of promoting SMS text messages for prevention and notification of AI human infection during departure from China tourists. Visitors arriving in AI-contaminated areas in China are monitoring surveillance and health status inquiries,
* Daily average entry from China: (aircraft) 25,956, (ship) 7,110

○ Polluted areas in China are designated on a regular basis according to the status of AI human infection, and information on contaminated areas is posted on the homepage of the Disease Control Division.
* As of January '17, there are 12 provinces and cities (Zhejiang, Guangdong, Jiangsu, Fujian, Shanghai, Hunan, Anhui, Shandong, Beijing, Hebei, Hubei and Jiangxi) As the AI ​​incidence grows, it will include roughenedness and Sichuan.

○ In addition, according to the revised quarantine law when entering the country, if the health status questionnaire is not reported after visiting the contaminated area, the special fine of 7 million won will be applied through February 2009 .

○ In addition, the people traveling to China can get information on AI infection infections in China and information on prevention of infection in China from the 'International Travel Disease Information Center' on the 3rd floor of Incheon International Airport. .
□ If you are planning to travel overseas during the New Year's holidays, the Disease Control Center will be available at the mobile site ( and the Disease Control Headquarters website (http: //www.cdc.go) .kr), check infectious disease information at the travel destination, check whether the contaminated area is visited at the time of entry, prepare a health status questionnaire, submit it to the quarantine officer,

○ Within 10 days after contact with poultry in China, it was also requested to call ☏ 1339 (Disease Control Headquarters Call Center) when fever and respiratory symptoms occur.

No comments: