Those With Plans To Visit China....

Apr 23rd, 2004, 07:57 PM
  #1  
bonniebroad
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Those With Plans To Visit China....

will you still go with the SARS rearing it's ugly head again? I have family members due to leave in about a month, taking a six year old. I don't think they should do it!
 
Apr 23rd, 2004, 08:18 PM
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Although the situation in China is almost certainly worse than stated, the chances of contracting the disease while there are infinitesimally small. The chance of dying by slipping while stepping out of your bath at home are considerably greater. The chances of dying in an accident on the way to the airport are greater. In China itself the chances of being killed in a traffic accident are tens of thousands of times greater: an admitted 80,000+ deaths per annum. Currently there are what, four admitted SARS infections? And all from a specialist laboratory.

By all means be cautious of genuine dangers (use pedestrian bridges while crossing roads), but the threat of dying from SARS contracted in China is statistically insignificant. Unless some massive outbreak is reported in the next few weeks, let them enjoy their trip.

Peter N-H
http://members.shaw.ca/pnhpublic/China.html
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Apr 24th, 2004, 09:34 AM
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We're still planning to leave for HK on May 10.
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Apr 26th, 2004, 09:04 AM
  #4  
bonniebroad
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Everybody still going, considering that the situation is worsening?
 
Apr 26th, 2004, 09:19 AM
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I'm leaving this Sun for Hong Kong for 2 weeks, and then to Thailand for 1 week. I did hear about the SARS, but am not too concerned. We had postponed this trip last year because of SARS, and then there was that bird flu going around in the fall. The way I figure it, we would never go anywhere if we let these things get in our way. Obviously caution and prudence is required any where you go, but there is probably a much much higher chance of getting travellers diarrhea.
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Apr 26th, 2004, 09:23 AM
  #6  
bonniebroad
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Mitmap, Traveler's Tummy is much less dangerous than SARS!!! I would check out the CDC site for the latest .......
 
Apr 26th, 2004, 10:31 AM
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...and the latest is, according to CDC, exactly the same--that four people have been diagnosed with SARS or as having antibodies, three of them having been in very close contact with the original patient who worked in a laboratory investigating SARS.

This still makes you 20,000 times more likely to die in a traffic accident in China, than of SARS. If you are frightened of SARS then you shouldn't even be leaving the house. Traffic, second-hand smoke, slipping in the bath are all many times more likely to kill you. Staying in the house should be too dangerous for your tastes, too. Compared to going to China and catching SARS, even including last year's figures, your surviving chances in the kitchen, for instance, aren't good.

The fact that traveller's diarrhoea is much less likely to kill you than SARS says nothing about the chances of catching SARS in the first place, which at the moment are as near nil as makes no difference.

If you are determined to be frightened of SARS there's nothing more to be said, but there seems no justification to ignore the facts being presented to you by the CDC and others, and to spread fear here.

There are many good reasons not to go to China, and which would really be worth debating. But SARS is not currently one of them. You're more likely to win the lottery than catch it.

Peter N-H
http://members.shaw.ca/pnhpublic/China.html
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Apr 26th, 2004, 11:05 AM
  #8  
bonniebroad
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Peter, you make good points here, of course. BUT I am concerned about family members being there for a couple of months, and things progressing to the point they were last year, when a close friend in Beijing was confined to her home, by the government, for several weeks because of the SARS problem. And each day, things have looked worse, not better. I appreciate your replies, and will hope for the best!
 
Apr 26th, 2004, 01:34 PM
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As a practical issue, during SARS last year, most people arriving back from Hong Kong to the US (or other countries) are advised to do a voluntary quarantine for 7-10 days at home. Nobody was forcing you to do that, but many of my relatives who did travel to HK last year did that - just in case, you know.

Of course, the situation right now is not even remotely close to last year's.
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Apr 26th, 2004, 01:54 PM
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Bonniebroad, I have family members (two daughters) living and working in China, as have many other people. They're not at all concerned, and things would have to get a lot worse before I'd be. Peter's maths seem irrefutable to me, and I agree that to be worried about odds like that you wouldn't get out of bed in the morning. But nobody else can make your decisions for you.
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Apr 26th, 2004, 02:02 PM
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peter - thanks for being practical about the whole situation. very helpful to hear your thoughts...
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Apr 26th, 2004, 03:57 PM
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If I were in your shoes, I would be less worried about actually catching SARS than about the paranoia of poorly informed family and friends on your return.
Be prepared that you could be a pariah for a while.
We are American expats living in Singapore and we were here through the entire SARS crisis last year. Both the WHO and CDC declared Singapore completely SARS-free by the end of April. That did not matter to certain friends in the US who refused to see us when we returned on home leave in mid-June!!
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Apr 27th, 2004, 04:44 AM
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I just returned from 9 days in China this past Thursday. I saw the latest SARS outbreak reported on t.v. in Beijing. When I prepared to leave Shanghai last Thursday, I had to fill out a medical form that asked if I had a cough or fever. If I had answered "yes" to these questions, then they would have quarantined me for the fever, but if I had a cough, I was told I would be given a chest x-ray, and if it was a cold, they would let me go through. Also, all travelers are supposed to get their temp. taken after submitting their medical form. This didn't happen to me. It took less than a minute for me to hand over my form at Shanghai's Pudong Airport, and then I expected to get my temp. taken, but no one did take it, perhaps because I indicated I had no fever or cough. (although regardless, my understanding was that all travelers were supposed to have their temp. taken). It took almost no time at all to go through this. I got no sense of danger or problem while in Beijing-and I went everywhere- my first time to China and Beijing-and I loved it, esp. Beijing (perhaps because I'm from D.C. myself, and like the sophistication of capital cities). I would go again now, no problem. As Peter says, your chances of contracting SARS are infintesimally small and your chance of dying in a car crash in China are statistically much greater-unless of course, you like to eat civet cats (smile).
 
Apr 27th, 2004, 07:02 AM
  #14  
 
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Thanks Airlawgirl for your insight. Overall, what did you think of Beijing? Did you like it? It's my first time in China and I don't know what to expect. I will definitely go to that restaurant in the Forbidden City.
Do you recommend I see the city w/ a guide or tour group? Does anyone know how much tour guides charge on average?
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