Expats in Beijing fearing pneumonic plague outbreak

Published:  10 Dec at 6 PM
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Tagged: Canada, China
For ambitious expat techies, the past few years have resulted in sizeable communities being established in all China’s major cities, with Beijing the most popular.

China’s image over the past decade has changed from that of a Communist threat to the rest of the world to a safe, welcoming haven for expat professionals in many fields. The tech sector in particular has benefited by the vast land’s opening of opportunities and seemingly genuine welcomes for those with specific talents and a sense of adventure. As a result, Chinese culture is now accepted and appreciated by incomers, and Western culture is being introduced to locals via the expat communities.

One of the most important aspects of choosing a new expat destination is safely and security, including staying healthy and being able to access first quality treatment should illness strike. Openness about risks is also a factor, especially where infectious diseases are concerned. Everyone remembers the Asian flu outbreak, with the everyday flu season in China still running between October and March, but a recent announcement that two cases of the plague have been confirmed by a Beijing hospital is now causing concern amongst the expat community.

The two unfortunate plague victims are now in an unnamed medical facility specialising in infectious diseases, after having been transferred from the city’’s Chaoyang Hospital. Expats in danger of freaking out will be relieved to hear the disease was contracted in Inner Mongolia, with the two infected patients brought the capital for treatment. In both cases, the dread disease has advanced to its victims’ lungs, meaning it’s now very contagious and has a high rate of mortality.

It’s highly unlikely the disease will be allowed to spread although, this being China, there’s very little reassuring information as yet. The real risk, as always at this time of year, is the local, almost never fatal, flue bug, with expats who haven’t yet had their shots at real risk of a very uncomfortable few weeks. Headaches and high fevers are par for the course, along with chills and chronic fatigue, and a visit to the local doctor is a must.
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