web Musings of The Global Traveller

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Swine flu travel update #3

I previously blogged on the impacts of swine flu on travel, what to do about the potential impacts and how savvy travellers can benefit.

This is an update on how the potential impacts are developing. A reminder that for medical advice or up to the minute information on the spread of swine flu, check out the World Health Organization (WHO) website. Note they have now taken to calling it H1N1 Influenza A instead of swine flu.

Current swine flu status

Transmission rates and death rates continue to fall and are now at or lower than normal seasonal influenza levels. WHO continues to treat H1N1 Influenza A seriously, noting that the 1918 "Spanish flu had a lull during Northern Hemisphere summer before the full outbreak.

Current impacts on travel

Almost 300 people who had been quarantined for a week in a Hong Kong hotel when a guest was confirmed to have swine flu have now been released. There are reports that currently China is not issuing visas for Americans and Mexicans. Those who already have China entry visas are allowed to visit, albeit with some checks on arrival.


The apparently strong reaction from Chinese authorities would make me reconsider travel there, if I had any coming up. There is a small risk of significant inconvenience if caught up in a group that is quarantined even if you have no symptoms yourself.

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