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04052013u

MESSAGE FOR U.S. CITIZENS - H7N9 INFLUENZA INFORMATION

Please find below a travel notice from the Centers for Disease Control on Avian Flu (H7N9) in China.  This notice is available at http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/watch/avian-flu-h7n9-china.htm.  U.S. Citizens are encouraged to regularly go to this webpage to review the most up to date information from the Centers for Disease Control on Avian Flu (H7N9). 

Begin Travel Notice

Watch: Level 1, Practice Usual Precautions
Avian Flu (H7N9) in China

This information is current as of today, April 22, 2013

Updated: April 15, 2013

What is the current situation?

On April 1, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that influenza A (H7N9), a type of flu usually seen in birds, has been identified in a number of people in China. Cases have been confirmed in the following provinces and municipalities: Anhui, Beijing, Henan, Jiangsu, Shanghai, and Zhejiang.

This is the first time this virus has been seen in people. Symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Infection with the new virus has resulted in severe respiratory illness and, in some cases, death. Chinese health authorities are conducting investigations to learn the source of the infections with this virus and to find other cases.

CDC is following this situation closely and coordinating with domestic and international partners in a number of areas. More information will be posted as it becomes available.

There is no recommendation against travel to China at this time.

What can travelers and Americans living in China do to protect themselves?

There is currently no vaccine to prevent H7N9. At this time, we do not know the source of this virus.  CDC is repeating its standard advice to travelers and Americans living in China to follow good hand hygiene and food safety practices and to avoid contact with animals.

  • Do not touch birds, pigs, or other animals.
    • Do not touch animals whether they are alive or dead.
    • Avoid live bird or poultry markets.
    • Avoid other markets or farms with animals (wet markets).
  • Eat food that is fully cooked.
    • Eat meat and poultry that is fully cooked (not pink) and served hot.
    • Eat hard-cooked eggs (not runny).
    • Don’t eat or drink dishes that include blood from any animal.
    • Don’t eat food from street vendors.
  • Practice hygiene and cleanliness:
    • Wash your hands often.
    • If soap and water aren’t available, clean your hands with hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
    • Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. If you need to touch your face, make sure your hands are clean.
    • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
    • Try to avoid close contact, such as kissing, hugging or sharing eating utensils or cups, with people who are sick.
  • See a doctor if you become sick during or after travel to China.
    • See a doctor right away if you become sick with fever, coughing, or shortness of breath.
    • If you get sick while you are still in China, visit the US Department of State website to find a list of local doctors and hospitals. Many foreign hospitals and clinics are accredited by the Joint Commission International. A list of accredited facilities is available at their website (www.jointcommissioninternational.org ).
    • Delay your travel home until after you have recovered or your doctor says it is ok to travel.
    • If you get sick with fever, coughing, or shortness of breath after you return to the United States, be sure to tell your doctor about your recent travel to China.

Clinician information:

Clinicians should consider the possibility of novel influenza A (H7N9) virus infection in persons presenting with respiratory illness within 10 days of an appropriate travel or exposure history. Although the majority of novel influenza A (H7N9) cases have resulted in severe respiratory illness in adults, infection with this virus may cause mild illness in some and may cause illness in children as well. Influenza diagnostic testing in patients with respiratory illness for whom an etiology has not been confirmed may identify human cases of avian influenza A virus infection or new cases of variant influenza in the United States. Patients with novel influenza A (H7N9) virus infections should have a positive test result for influenza A virus via reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing but be unsubtypeable. Clinicians suspecting novel influenza A (H7N9) should obtain appropriate specimens and notify their local or state health department promptly. State health departments should notify CDC of suspected cases within 24 hours. For more information, see the Health Alert Notice  issued April 5, 2013.

Additional Information:

End of Travel Notice

In addition to the above notice, hospitals across China are increasing their monitoring, especially for patients with fevers and “unidentified pneumonia,” which triggers reporting procedures. In some areas in China, patients exhibiting these symptoms must go to designated hospitals.

We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in China enroll in the Department of State's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at https://step.state.gov/step.  STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the U.S. Embassy or nearest U.S. Consulate to contact you in an emergency.  If you don't have Internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

Regularly monitor the State Department's website at http://travel.state.gov, where you can find current Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution.  Read the Country Specific Information for China at http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1089.html. For additional information, refer to "A Safe Trip Abroad" on the State Department's website.

Contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate for up-to-date information on travel restrictions.  You can also call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free from within the United States and Canada, or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries.  These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).  Follow us on Twitter at https://mobile.twitter.com/travelgov and Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/travelgov, and download our free Smart Traveler iPhone App at https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/smart-traveler/id442693988?mt=8 to have travel information at your fingertips.

The U.S. Embassy in Beijing China
No. 55 An Jia Lou Road
Chaoyang District, Beijing 100600 
Telephone: (86) (10) 8531-4000
Emergency after-hours telephone: (86) (10) 8531-4000
The Embassy consular district includes the municipalities of Beijing and Tianjin and the provinces/autonomous regions of Gansu, Hebei, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Inner Mongolia, Jiangxi, Ningxia, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, and Xinjiang.

The U.S. Consulate General in Chengdu
Number 4, Lingshiguan Road, Section 4, Renmin Nanlu,
Chengdu 610041. 
Telephone: (86)(28) 8558-3992
Emergency after-hours telephone: (86) (10) 8531-4000
This consular district includes the provinces/autonomous region of Guizhou, Sichuan, Xizang (Tibet) and Yunnan, as well as the municipality of Chongqing.

The U.S. Consulate General in Guangzhou
5/F Tian Yu Garden, Phase II
136-142 Lin He Zhong Lu, Tianhe District, Guangzhou 
Telephone: (86)(20) 8518-7605 
Emergency after-hours telephone: (86) (10) 8531-4000
This consular district includes: the provinces/autonomous region of Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan, and Fujian.

The U.S. Consulate General in Shanghai
Westgate Mall, 8th Floor, 1038 Nanjing Xi Lu,
Shanghai 200031
Telephone: (86)(21) 3217-4650
Emergency after-hours telephone:   (86) (21) 3217-4650
This consular district includes Shanghai municipality and the provinces of Anhui, Jiangsu and Zhejiang.

The U.S. Consulate General in Shenyang
No. 52, 14th Wei Road, Heping District,
Shenyang 110003 
Telephone: (86)(24) 2322-1198
Emergency after-hours telephone: (86) (10) 8531-4000
This consular district includes:   the provinces of Heilongjiang, Jilin, and Liaoning.

The U.S. Consulate General in Wuhan
New World International Trade Tower I
No. 568, Jianshe Avenue
Hankou, Wuhan  430022
Telephone: (86) (027) 8555-7791
Emergency after-hours telephone: (86) (10) 8531-4000
[Please note that consular services are provided only during quarterly outreaches in Wuhan.   Contact the Embassy in Beijing for other consular and emergency services.]