The Olympics: Yet Another Thing to Worry About
Air pollution, terrorism, political unrest: The list of potential concerns by athletes and visitors regarding the upcoming Beijing Olympics just seems to go on and on. And now there's another one.
According to a study released just yesterday by the CDC, believe it or not, dog bites are among the more common health problems experienced by travelers to China. Worse, "China has the second highest rate of human rabies cases in the world," said the CDC's Dr. Nina Marano, as quoted in a press release on the report.
Illnesses of the respiratory tract such as bronchitis were still more frequent among travelers to China, and there are several other potential risks documented in a special Beijing section of the CDC Web site. For this reason, the agency is now recommending that all travelers visit a travel medicine clinic 4 to 6 weeks prior to the Games.
In other words: now.
It stands to reason that visitors should avoid petting stray animals, wash their hands frequently, etc., but the CDC has taken the further step of recommending that travelers "avoid all animals while in China." This is in part because 140,000 animal bites cases were reported in Beijing in 2006, as well as more than 3,000 deaths by rabies in China as a whole. (It's worth noting that most of those deaths occurred in rural areas outside Beijing; then again, many Americans are expected to visit such places in their pre- and post-Olympics travels.)
Another thing to keep in mind: "Dogs in China are often not properly vaccinated because of non-adherence to registration and vaccination requirements, especially in rural areas that travelers may visit after the Olympics."
Anyone out there planning an Olympics trip or have stories they'd like to share about past travels to China?
Please email us to report offensive comments.
Posted by: xenophilia | June 27, 2008 12:47 PM
Posted by: Carolina | June 27, 2008 3:21 PM
Posted by: Diane | July 9, 2008 3:45 PM
The comments to this entry are closed.