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|Thursday, August 02, 2001, updated at 08:30(GMT+8)|
Dengue Fever Outbreak Watched CloselyChinese quarantine, health and tourism authorities are watching closely a reported outbreak of dengue fever in Southeast Asian countries, but have not released any warnings to outbound Chinese tourists.
On July 12, the quarantine office in Haikou, South China's Hainan Province, captured Aedes, a kind of mosquito known to be a vector of dengue, a life-threatening illness, on a Vietnamese ship named H/V Hoang Phuong 10.
The office seized the Aedes mosquito while it was conducting a routine quarantine on the ship. Local government had taken necessary methods to eradicate the insects according to the country's quarantine regulations.
China has been enforcing strict quarantine on the imported goods to prevent the outbreak of dengue fever, which is transmitted only via Aedes mosquito bites.
So far, no outbreak of the epidemic has been reported in the country.
"Tourism will not be affected, as the governments of Thailand and Cambodia are active in preventing epidemic diseases in their countries,'' said Wang Yayu from the outbound department of the China International Travel Service.
Thailand has become a major tourism destination for Chinese tourists, attracting more than 700,000 Chinese visitors every year.
Sources from the National Tourism Administration and the Beijing Tourism Administration say they have not heard of the spread of dengue fever in neighbouring counties.
But local media in Shanghai reports that the quarantine office in the city has warned its citizens to be vigilant when travelling to tropical countries facing the disease.
Cheng Nong, an official from the Shanghai Municipal Tourism Administration, said his committee, together with relevant departments, would take necessary measures, including recommending proper drugs to tourists if the spread of the disease is confirmed in destination countries.
But currently, the committee has not given warning messages to travel agencies in the cities on the lookout for the disease.
"As a routine procedure, tourists are kept well informed about their destination by their travel agencies,'' said Cheng.
Feedback from two major country-level travel agencies, including China CYTS Tours Co Ltd, indicates that the number of visitor contracts for outbound travel has not fluctuated in recent days.
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