Travel Tuesday: China Flu Worries Health Organizations

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The World Health Organization (WHO) has scheduled an emergency meeting in Geneva this Wednesday to consider possible issues from a major decision on the new Chinese based flu problems. The meeting will decide on whether to designate the outbreak of this mysterious, pneumonia-like virus (that has originated in select areas of China), as an international public health emergency.

This new Chinese flu has been detected in 150 + people who have been in or visited the city of Wuhan, China. The flu is believed to be a new version of the coronavirus and has so far only been detected among patients within select areas of China. The China Municipal Health Commission confirmed that two people have died as a result of the illness.

The coronaviruses contain a large family of viruses that range from the common cold to much more serious diseases. These diseases can infect both humans and animals. The strain spreading in China is related to two other coronaviruses that have caused major outbreaks in recent years: MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome), and SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome).

American Airports (San Fransico, Los Angles, and New York) have expressed fears of the contamination for a major flu outbreak.  These airports and others will be doing an additional screening of passengers arriving from various China and South East Asia airports.

Travel in and out of various Southeast Asia destinations will be under scrutiny for the next several months. Travel plans to this region beyond six months should be safe. Please check with your professional travel concierge for future travel to these regions. Travel Insurance and Travel Cancellation Insurance are recommended.

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