January 5, 2014
TAIPEI--Taiwan's Mainland Affairs
Council (MAC) yesterday issued a yellow travel alert for Shanghai, a day
after the Chinese city confirmed a new human H7N9 avian influenza case.
The MAC upgraded its
epidemic travel advisory for Shanghai to a level-2 alert, the same level
set last year for travel to 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 traveling to the city cannot be avoided.
The new H7N9 case in Shanghai involving an 86-year-old man brought the
total number of confirmed H7N9 cases in China to 13 since October,
including five cases in Zhejiang, five in Guangdong, two in Hong Kong
and one in Shanghai, Taiwan's Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported
Since March 31, 2013, mainland China and Hong Kong
have reported 147 confirmed human H7N9 cases, including 48 in which the
patients eventually died, the CDC said.
Taiwan has confirmed two
imported human cases of H7N9 avian influenza, with one involving a
Taiwanese businessman who fell ill after returning from a trip to
Jiangsu province in April 2013 and made a full recovery after a month of
The second one involved an 86-year-old
Chinese tourist who arrived in Taipei on Dec. 17, 2013, and was
hospitalized on Dec. 24, according to the CDC.
The MAC asked
Taiwanese citizens 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 MAC 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 including pigeons and not eat uncooked meat and eggs.
If travelers to epidemic areas develop a fever and cough, they should
promptly see a doctor after returning to Taiwan, the council warned.