Hong Kong and SARS

Dec 7th, 2004, 01:31 PM
  #1  
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Hong Kong and SARS

I'm going to Hong Kong soon and from my research, SARS is not an issue anymore.

I wasn't really worreid. However, when I mention my trip, I sometimes get the "Aren't you afraid of SARS?" question

Do some people still wear mask? Any other things I should know? Are there still checks at the airport for high fevers (or SARS-like symptoms)

For people who've been to HK recently or live there, please confirm that SARS is not an issue. I know it isn't but just want extra confirmation. That will give me a peace of mind!


kittycatangel is offline  
Dec 7th, 2004, 01:51 PM
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No it isn't an issue. I saw no one wearing masks in April when I was there. If you want up to date, accurate info on health issues for travelers (to anywhere) check the cdc website www.cdc.gov/travel
Kathie is online now  
Dec 7th, 2004, 07:38 PM
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I was in HK in early November 2004. In the 4 days I was there, I saw a grand total of 3 people on the streets wearing masks (not including some restaurant workers and all of the street cleaners). The airports and the hotel I stayed at (Miramar) still have fever detectors.
RoyalJelly is offline  
Dec 7th, 2004, 09:13 PM
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Hong Kong was hard hit by SARS two years ago. Last year everyone feared a reprisal, but blessedly nothing happened. It is now the start of flu season, so once again Hong Kong is taking precautions, but there is no reason to believe that it will be a problem this year.

I was in Hong Kong a couple of weeks ago. Other than the persistence of the fever scanners at the airports and border crossings, there was no apparent concern about SARS. You do occasionally see people on the streets wearing masks, but Asians often wear masks when they have cold or if they are suffering from allergies.

I think the main effect (good effect that is) has been the improvement in public hygiene in restaurants particularly. Not always the case in China however. I think if there is a reoccurence of SARS it will come from China and this is very difficult for Hong Kong to control. Bird Flu is also a concern lingering on the horizon, but hey, you can't worry about everything!

Go to Hong Kong and have a great time!

marmot is offline  
Dec 8th, 2004, 10:32 AM
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I was there in May and would agree with the other posters observations.

However, on arrival and departure in May you were most definately being scanned for temperature (using a thermal imaging camera) although this was being done very passively (i.e. as you walk through immigration there is someone pointing what looks like a hand held speed camera at you from about 4-5 metres away).

I personally wouldn't worry yourself unduly over SARS, but like anywhere you plan to travel to keep your ear to the ground for any breaking news on any major issue - Health or Politics.
Walter_Walltotti is offline  
Dec 8th, 2004, 11:07 AM
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Not only is SARS not a problem, HK is now cleaning than ever. I remember there used to be a lot of trash on streets, people spitting, stinky street markets, etc... in the past. But now, HK is sparkling clean. Even the bathrooms at local restaurants are tolerable.

Don't worry and just go. Only uninformed people still think to stay away.
mmyk72 is offline  
Dec 9th, 2004, 09:56 AM
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I used to travel a lot to Hong Kong whilst it was still a British Territory (hope that's term correct term, anyway, pre 1997) and people ask me, as a holiday maker,what is the biggest change you've noticed since the British left.

My answer is it is considerably cleaner! And I'm a Brit saying this. It's rare to see any litter about the place these days.
Walter_Walltotti is offline  
Dec 9th, 2004, 09:52 PM
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I was in HK two weeks ago and SARS was not a big issue, though public health authorities do mantain a vigilant attitude after the episode a couple years ago. Fever scanning was in place at the airport and sea terminals. There were news reports about four patients with fever in one hospital but SARS was ruled out. As noted above, the place is amazingly clean. You still see hand sanitizers (the alcohol based gel ro foam type) in many places, and it is a good idea to use them - jut as general hygiene, not specifically realted to SARS worries.
I will admit that I purposely did not visit the bird market!
Seamus is offline  
Dec 10th, 2004, 11:47 AM
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As a tag along to SARS question in HK-Is the Avian (bird) Flu problem in Thailand of 6-10 weeks ago a total none issue at this point to fellow travelers who have been there over the past month or so??
Thanks.
StanKase is offline  
Dec 10th, 2004, 01:16 PM
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The Avian flu is not an issue at this point (I guess unless you are a chicken, literally!). This stain of influenza fortunately has not made the leap to being readily transmitted from human to human.

Again, I highly recommend the cdc website www.cdc.gov/travel as an excellent source of info on travelers health issues. They have a section about the avian flu that gets updated regularly.
Kathie is online now  
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