MAC issues yellow travel alert for Jilin Province over avian flu

2017/04/25 23:08:38 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
(CNA file photo)

(CNA file photo)

Taipei, April 25 (CNA) The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), which supervises cross-Taiwan Strait exchanges, issued a yellow travel alert on Tuesday for China's Jilin Province after the first H7N9 avian flu infection case was confirmed there.

By issuing the travel warning, the MAC aims to remind Taiwanese tourists visiting the northeastern province to take health precautions, according to the council.

The travel advisory imposed by the MAC came after Taiwan's Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that same day announced that the Chinese health authorities had confirmed that Jilin Province has recorded its first H7N9 infection.

As a result, the CDC raised its travel advisory from "watch" to "alert," the second-highest level on the CDC's three-tier travel warning system, the MAC said.

Avian influenza A (H7N9) is a subtype of influenza viruses that have been detected in birds in the past, but had not been seen in either animals or humans until March 2013 in China, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The MAC said that Taiwanese travelers to China should be cautious, take good care of themselves and maintain proper hygiene by washing their hands frequently.

In addition, Taiwanese travelers who are in China should avoid contact with birds through feeding them or touching them, and should not visit live poultry markets or traditional markets, as this could increase the chances of contracting the flu virus, the MAC said.

If symptoms such as a fever or cough develop, the affected person should immediately wear a mask and seek medical attention, the MAC added.

In addition to Jilin Province, the MAC has issued a second-level travel advisory for Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Chongqing, Zhejiang Province, Guangdong Province, Anhui Province, Hunan Province, Jiangxi Province, Jiangsu Province, Sichuan Province, Fujian Province, Shandong Province, Hebei Province, Hubei Province, Liaoning Province, Henan Province, Yunnan Province, and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Guizhou Province, Gansu Province and Tibet Autonomous Region.

The CDC has imposed a first-level travel advisory for all other cities and provinces in China, excluding Hong Kong and Macau.

(By Kao Chao-fen, Frances Huang and Romulo Huang)

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