ATLANTA, June 27 (UPI) -- Olympic travelers bound for China should worry less about exotic diseases and focus on avoiding respiratory illness and dog bites, U.S. health officials say.
A report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the GeoSentinel Surveillance Network finds during the past 10 years, dog bites were one of the more common health problems travelers face when visiting China. Other common ailments were respiratory infections, skin problems, injuries and diarrhea, the report says.
With an estimated 600,000 foreign visitors and athletes, and as many as 2 million Chinese attendees, expected at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing in August, the report says respiratory illnesses, such as asthma and bronchitis, may be the most common ailment encountered.
Acute diarrhea and dog bites were the most frequent ailments for travelers receiving post-travel medical care as well as injuries, like sprains and strains, the report says. There were no reported cases of malaria or dengue fever among travelers in this study.
"Travelers need to be cautious about dog bites, as China has the second highest rate of human rabies cases in the world," Dr. Nina Marano, chief of the CDC's Travelers' Health and Animal Importation Branch said in a statement.