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China travel little affected by H10N8: travel agents

TAIPEI -- Local travel agents said yesterday that China tourism from Taiwan remains stable, despite confirmation there earlier this week of the world's first human infection of the H10N8 avian flu strain.

“We haven't had significant inquiries about the health risk of traveling to China,” said Roget Hsu, secretary general of the Travel Agent Association of the Republic of China.

However, Hsu said he is not sure whether the flu will have a long-term impact on Taiwan-China travel, because the situation regarding the epidemic remains unclear.

Taiwan's Centers for Disease Control a day earlier issued a level-2 travel alert for the Chinese province of Jiangxi after a 73 year-old woman in the southeastern province died from H10N8 infection Dec. 6.

The Mainland Affairs Council, Taiwan's top China policy planner, also issued a yellow travel alert for the province, warning Taiwanese nationals planning to visit to be particularly careful and to pay attention to their health.

Earlier this year, travel to China suffered a major setback following an outbreak of H7N9 bird flu, with tourism operators complaining that related sales have plunged by more than half.

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