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NSC has gathered last available updates as per April 18th, 2013 about Influenza H7N9 situation in China. At NSC, we consider the health and safety of our participants as a fundamental element of our internship program in China. Analyzing the current situation, there’s 4 elements we’d like to share publicly (beside WHO official notice):
- As described below, elderly or immunodeficient persons are more susceptible to common flu syndrome. As most of our participants are undergraduates or graduate students, we consider this as a positive factor.
- All our housing and placements are in downtown Shanghai. It means there’s very limited chance being in direct contact with wild birds. Live food markets are also limited and cannot be found easily in downtown city.
- So far, there is no evidence of ongoing human-to-human transmission. It basically means that transportation is safe. As a precaution measure, it is possible to wear air filters and face masks while commuting.
- Lastly, NSC’s program include a Travel Health Insurance. Our team is trained and available for any kind of emergency situation and be insure that best hospital and available treatments in Shanghai will be covered under our insurance policy.
Influenza A(H7N9) virus in China
Influenza A(H7N9) is one of a subgroup of influenza viruses that normally circulate among birds. Until recently, this virus had not been seen in people. However, human infections have now been detected. As of 16 April 2013, a total of 63 patients have been laboratory-confirmed with influenza A(H7N9) virus in China; including 14 deaths. More than a thousand close contacts of the confirmed cases are being closely monitored. The last three laboratory-confirmed cases of human infection include a 60-year-old man from Jiangsu who became ill on 6 April 2013; a 68-year-old woman from Zhejiang who became ill on 3 April 2013; a 60-year-old man from Anhui who became ill on 10 April 2013. Investigations into the possible sources of infection and reservoirs of the virus are ongoing. Until the source of infection has been identified, it is expected that there will be further cases of human infection with the virus in China. So far, there is no evidence of ongoing human-to-human transmission.WHO does not advise special screening at points of entry with regard to this event, nor does it recommend that any travel or trade restrictions be applied.Recommendations:
- Hand hygiene with frequent washing or use of alcohol rubs is recommended
- Avoid any direct contact with wild birds, especially on Live food markets
- It is safe to eat meat from healthy animals, including from poultry and game birds, provided they are properly cooked and properly handled during food preparation. Influenza viruses are not transmitted through consuming well-cooked food as they are inactivated by normal temperatures used for cooking (food reaches 70°C in all parts— “piping” hot — no “pink” parts).
- Diseased animals and animals that have died of diseases should not be eaten.
- In case of important fever and respiratory difficulties, contact a doctor without any delay
For further information, please visit WHO China Country Office A(H7N9) Updates