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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
09BEIJING1135
2009-04-28 09:48:00
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Embassy Beijing
Cable title:  

MGSF01 H1N1 SWINE FLU OUTBREAK - CHINA SITREP # 1 - NO

Tags:   KFLU  AEMR  ASEC  CASC  KFLO  TBIO  KSAF  KPAO  PREL  PINR 
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VZCZCXRO0717
RR RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHGH RUEHPB RUEHVC
DE RUEHBJ #1135/01 1180948
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 280948Z APR 09
FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3691
INFO RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE
RUEAUSA/DEPT OF HHS WASHINGTON DC
RUEHRC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC//USDP/ISA/AP//
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUCNARF/ASEAN REGIONAL FORUM COLLECTIVE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/CJCS WASHINGTON DC//J2/J3/J5//
RHMFIUU/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI//J00/J2/J3/J5//
						UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BEIJING 001135 

HHS FOR OGHA
CDC ATLANTA FOR CCID, AND PASS TO FLU COX AND MOUNTS AND COGH BLOUNT
AND KELLY

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KFLU AEMR ASEC CASC KFLO TBIO KSAF KPAO PREL PINR
AMGT, MG, EAGR, HHS, CH
SUBJECT: MGSF01 H1N1 SWINE FLU OUTBREAK - CHINA SITREP # 1 - NO
REPORTED CASES, A PORK IMPORT BAN, AND OFFERS TO HELP

REF: A) BEIJING 1132 B) STATE 42349 C) STATE 41768



1. (SBU) SUMMARY: As of COB April 28 Beijing time, no cases of
swine influenza (AH1N1) virus infection in humans or livestock had
been reported by the local press or government authorities. As a
precaution, the Chinese General Administration of Quality
Supervision, Inspection, and Quarantine (AQSIQ) on April 25 issued a
national order for increased surveillance and detection practices to
be employed at ports of entry. AQSIQ also imposed on April 26 a ban
on pork imports from Mexico and three U.S. states, which Post
protested and continues to monitor. Post received a diplomatic note
dated April 26 from the Ministry of Health (MOH) expressing sympathy
and pledging cooperation and assistance under existing bilateral
agreements. Separately, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and
Prevention (China CDC) sent a letter to U.S. CDC offering support.
As part of mission procedures for preparation and response to
outbreaks, Post has reviewed relevant tripwires and the Emergency
Action Committee is on standby to convene. A management notice
providing guidance to the Embassy community also was issued on April
28, and a warden message to the local American community will be
sent soon. The Embassy is also reaching out to selected foreign
embassies in Beijing to share relevant and updated information. END
SUMMARY.



2. (U) While news of the international swine flu outbreak has been
front page news in China for the last week, to date, neither the
Chinese press nor the Chinese health authorities have reported or
confirmed any cases occurring in China. No suspected cases have
been reported among arriving international passengers from Mexico,
the United States, or elsewhere. However, local press have reported
sporadic cases of routine influenza, including news of over 100
primary school students in Liquan County in Shaanxi Province (1200
kilometers southwest of Beijing and 50 km west of Xi'an) with
influenza-like symptoms since April 20. (NOTE: Local health
officials have not yet isolated the cause of these cases. However,
given the remoteness of this location, it is unlikely that these
cases are swine flu. END NOTE). MOH has established a Chinese
interagency working group to monitor and respond to developments in
the swine flu outbreak, along with the Ministry of Agriculture
(MOA).



3. (U) AQSIQ, the Chinese government entity with primary
responsibilities for health inspections at ports of entry, issued an
order on April 25 stating that all arriving passengers at
international airports in China should declare (on a voluntary
basis) whether they are experiencing flu-like symptoms. At the same
time, local-level Import and Export Inspection and Quarantine (CIQ)

officials working at airports processing flights from "infected
areas" (specifically Federal District, San Luis, and Mexicali in
Mexico, and California and Texas in the United States) to employ
enhanced temperature detection (i.e. infrared monitoring)and medical
inspection practices. The AQSIQ guidance also instructed that
infected or suspected cases be placed under public health
observation, quarantine, and transfer to a designated hospital for
treatment, and that CIQ officers at ports of entry should
self-protect against transmission.



4. (U) On April 26, the Chinese National Tourism Association issued
a travel warning urging Chinese tourists to postpone travel to
Mexico. On April 28, the Beijing CIQ issued additional guidance
stating that all passengers landing in Beijing from the United
States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, and New Zealand will have
their temperature monitored and undergo medical exams onsite if they
exhibit symptoms. For flights from the United States and "other key
endemic countries," additional pre-disembarking quarantine
procedures like visual monitoring and disinfection (exact procedures
unclear) was set to begin April 28. Press reports indicate that at
some large events, for example the China Import and Export Fair
(Canton Fair) currently in progress, procedures have been
implemented to "enhance inspection and detection" as well.



5. (SBU) On April 27, AQSIQ notified U.S. Animal and Plant Health
Inspection Service (APHIS) officers that they had issued a ban on

BEIJING 00001135 002 OF 002


live pigs from Mexico and from the United States (specifically from
California, Texas, and Kansas). APHIS urged AQSIQ not to impose any
restrictions on U.S. live pigs and pork, emphasizing the virus has
not been found in U.S. pigs and cannot be spread by eating pork or
pork products. (NOTE: Following AQSIQ's meeting with USDA, AQSIQ
subsequently announced a ban on pork and pork products, as well as
on live pigs, and stated that arriving shipments would be returned
or destroyed. Although the AQSIQ announcement only mentioned three
U.S. states, APHIS later confirmed these restrictions also apply to
New York and Ohio. Post expects China will expand these
restrictions as human cases of swine flu are reported in additional
states. In 2008, U.S. exports of pork to China reached a record
$540 million while live pig shipments exceeded a record $12 million.
END NOTE (REF A))



6. (SBU) Post received in recent days two official messages from
Chinese authorities offering support to the USG as the outbreak
continues in the United States. According to press reports, the
Chinese government has made similar offers to the Mexican government
via the Mexican Embassy in Beijing. MOH transmitted a diplomatic
note dated April 26, which expressed sympathy to those afflicted in
the United States and offered "any necessary assistance" for China
CDC to cooperate and closely communicate with U.S. CDC under
existing bilateral agreements to "improve prevention and control of
this emergent public health issue of international concern."
Specific areas mentioned include epidemiological investigations,
laboratory testing, clinical treatment, and prevention and control
measures. China CDC Director WANG Yu echoed this sentiment in a
separate letter (also dated April 26), stating that China CDC would
"do our utmost to support U.S. CDC in efforts to investigate and
control the spread of this outbreak" and promised to share
information on influenza virus surveillance in China through the
U.S. CDC Beijing Office Director. The letter went on to delegate
China CDC's chief coordinating authority to Dr. Zijian FENG, a
researcher currently taking part in an exchange fellowship program
on emerging infectious diseases with U.S. CDC in Atlanta. Post has
prepared a response to the diplomatic note, formally acknowledging
and expressing appreciation for the offers.



7. (SBU) Relevant offices within the Embassy have been mobilized,
first with a meeting to review avian influenza tripwires to guide
further action should it become necessary. A management notice
offering guidance to Embassy staff and families was issued on April
28, and a warden message to local American citizens in China is
being cleared by CA/OCS for planned release on April 29. Post's
Emergency Action is on standby to assess and implement appropriate
procedures (including a possible town hall meeting) as the situation
unfolds.



8. U) Post will continue to report relevant developments as they
occur.


PICCUTA