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Respiratory illnesses and dog bites a concern for travelers to China for 2008 Olympics
Date:7/30/2008

that reports travel-related health data to the network.

The report found that respiratory illnesses, such as the common cold, bronchitis, pneumonia and asthma were the primary diagnoses of those seeking medical care, and the main cause of hospitalization while traveling in China.

Sprains, strains and cuts were also common problems during travel. Dog bites and diarrhea were the most frequent complaints for travelers receiving post-travel care back at home. There were only a few cases of exotic diseases diagnosed during the 10-year period. But the study authors found no reported cases of some of the most common exotic diseases, such as malaria, dengue fever or Japanese encephalitis.

"With China's air pollution problems, we were not surprised with the many patients who needed respiratory care while traveling," says Kozarsky, who is also a travelers' health consultant with the CDC. "But we were surprised by how many patients returned to travel medicine clinics after travel with animal bites 400 dog bites, along with some cat and monkey bites over the 10-year study and needed rabies vaccination."

China has the second highest number of cases of human rabies in the world, according to the report. In 2006, 140,000 animal bites were reported in Beijing. Nearly 3,300 people died from rabies in China in 2006.

"Olympic travelers need to be aware of this risk and avoid petting stray animals while in China," Kozarsky explains. "If they are bitten, they need to seek medical treatment immediately."

Kozarsky says planning and prevention are important before making your way to China for the Olympics.

"We recommend visiting a travel clinic several weeks to a month before your trip to get travel advice and make sure your vaccinations are up-to-date," Kozarsky explains. "While traveling, washing hands often to prevent illness and using common sense can help in decreasing your health risks."


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Contact: Janet Christenbury
jmchris@emory.edu
404-727-8599
Emory University
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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