Resource Logo
New York Times

Yellow Fever: China Plans to Scan Travelers From Sudan




 

In a move that underlines how many Chinese citizens now work in Africa, China’s quarantine officials recently urged greater efforts to make sure that a yellow fever epidemic now raging in Sudan does not come back to China.

Local health authorities were asked to scan all travelers arriving from Sudan for fevers. Chinese citizens planning travel to Sudan were advised to get yellow fever shots. Customs officers were told that containers arriving from Sudan might have stray infected mosquitoes inside.

Sudan’s epidemic is considered the world’s worst in 20 years. Sweden, Britain and other donors have paid for vaccinations. The United States Navy’s laboratory in Egypt has helped with diagnoses.

Estimates of the number of Chinese working in Africa, many in the oil and mining industries or on major construction projects, range from 500,000 to 1 million. Experts on AIDS have previously warned that the workers could become a new means of bringing that disease to China, which has a low H.I.V.-infection rate.

ProMED-mail, a Web site that follows emerging diseases, has tracked reports about the Sudan outbreak, with its moderators adding valuable context. China’s mosquito-killing winters make a large yellow fever outbreak there unlikely, moderators said. But Sudan’s containment efforts are troubled. For example, vaccinated people cannot get cards proving they have had shots, but the cards are reported to be for sale at police checkpoints.

Australia’s now-endemic dengue fever, according to ProMED moderators, may have come from mosquitoes arriving in containers from East Timor.



 


Copyright © 2013 -New York Times, Publisher. All rights reserved to New York Times company. All New York Times articles contained on the AEGiS web site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of The New York Times Company. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. However, you may download articles (one machine readable copy and one print copy per page) for your personal, noncommercial use only.

Information in this article was accurate in January 7, 2013. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.