Shanghai to screen international travelers for bird flu

Shanghai on Monday began screening international passengers for fevers, a precaution aimed at preventing the spread of bird flu, the city government said. All passengers leaving or entering the country via the city's Pudong International Airport have to complete a health declaration form saying if they have had close contact with poultry, birds, bird flu patients or suspected cases over the past week and whether they have symptoms such as fever, coughing and being short of breath, the government said in a notice posted on its Web site. Any passenger whose temperature measures over 38 Celsius (100.4 Fahrenheit) will be further examined, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

If that person has visited an area affected by bird flu or had contact with birds or poultry he or she will be required to undergo treatment at a designated hospital, Xinhua said.

China has reported three confirmed human cases of bird flu. Two of the three died and one recovered. Millions of poultry have died or been killed in an effort to control the disease.

The precautions taken by Shanghai, a city of more than 20 million people, are similar to those imposed countrywide during the 2003 outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). Then, airports and many other public places set up infrared cameras at their entries and exits to detect fevers, reports the AP. I.L.

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