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Tags: taiwan | china | respiratory illness | travel ban | covid-19 | rsv | who

Taiwan Urges Travelers to Avoid China Over Outbreak

By    |   Saturday, 02 December 2023 11:27 AM EST

Taiwan's health ministry is urging its people who are elderly, very young, or with poor immunity to avoid traveling to China because of the spike in respiratory illnesses there.

The officials, in a statement released after this week's cabinet meeting, said that trips should not be made to mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau unless deemed necessary, reported NBC News.

Those who must travel should get their flu and COVID-19 vaccinations before being in China, the ministry said.

The spike in illnesses, rather than being a new disease, is coming from existing viruses and bacteria, including COVID-19, flu, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and mycoplasma pneumonia, Dr. Mandy Cohen, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told members of Congress this week, echoing claims from other world health officials and Chinese authorities.

Taiwan has been careful concerning disease outbreaks in China for years, even before the pandemic, after a severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak started in China, killing almost 800 people worldwide in 2002-2003. Initially, the Chinese government tried to cover up the SARS outbreak.

Travel advisories could lead the public to believe they won't contract a respiratory illness as long as they stay out of China, said Shu-Ti Chiou, an epidemiologist at the Health & Sustainable Development Foundation in Taipei. And Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi claimed earlier this week that authorities have the latest outbreak under control.

"Recently, we have seen some clusters of flu cases among children in certain parts of China. That is a very common phenomenon in many countries, and in China that has been put under effective control," Wang told reporters at the United Nations, where he is chairing a Security Council session on the Israel-Hamas war.

The World Health Organization has requested that China provide detailed information about the disease spike, including reports of pneumonia in children. However, a WHO official said that the increased illnesses are not as bad as before the pandemic and that there were new or unusual pathogens discovered.

China and the WHO have been facing questions, however, about transparency in reporting about the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, after the earliest cases emerged in the city of Wuhan in late 2019.

However, it is not generally believed that the latest respiratory outbreak is related to COVID-19, health experts in the United States say.

Retired Adm. Brett Giroir told Newsmax on Thursday that the surge in respiratory illnesses in China doesn't indicate a new pandemic could be headed to the United States.

"It is serious for China. It's just not another COVID, and it's not something that we have to worry about, spreading over here to our shores," said Giroir, a pediatrician and former U.S. assistant secretary for health who served as the Trump administration's coronavirus testing czar.

He also noted that there was an upsurge in flu and RSV in the United States last year, particularly among children.

China expert and author Gordon Chang, meanwhile, told Newsmax on Friday that the United States should also impose travel restrictions from China until more is known about the outbreak, as China lied often about the COVID-19 outbreak and it "has a very bad reputation for truth."

Sandy Fitzgerald

Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics. 

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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Taiwan's health ministry is urging its people who are elderly, very young, or with poor immunity to avoid traveling to China because of the spike in respiratory illnesses there.
taiwan, china, respiratory illness, travel ban, covid-19, rsv, who
530
2023-27-02
Saturday, 02 December 2023 11:27 AM
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