CDC and WHO warning about travel to China

My chorus is scheduled to be touring in China (Beijing, Xian, and Shanghai) in the last two weeks of June. The CDC and WHO have issued a travel advisory stating “people planning elective or nonessential travel to mainland China and Hong Kong; Singapore; and Hanoi, Vietnam, may wish to postpone their trips until further notice.” This phrasing seems so mild–it scarcely even sounds like a warning. I don’t want to panic foolishly, but I also don’t want to do anything genuinely risky. (If I back out of the trip it would have to be this week.)

How serious is a WHO/CDC warning like this?

I would say “go for it”. If things really do get outrageously out of hand, with travelers dropping like flies in airport lounges, of course you won’t go anyway, even if you lose money on it, and it would be awful for you to cancel next week and then find out that there was no reason for it. I mean, this is a do-not-miss opportunity, so I personally would stay on the list to go.

You can’t stay home forever for fear that you’ll come down with a disease, you know. :wink: Even without SARS, look at all the other ghastly things you can catch while traveling, antibiotic-resistant TB and Ebola and stuff like that (cheerful thought, eh?)

I would bookmark this site and check it at intervals to see if things were getting worse or better, the closer it gets to your departure date. It’s the summary page for all cases so far.

Bear in mind that it’s probable that the reason there are so many more cases in China and Hong Kong is simply because those are tremendously densely populated areas.

And also, on today’s summary, it shows that after China, Hong Kong, and Singapore, the next largest number of cases is in the U.S., Vietnam, and Canada, and I don’t see any travel advisories for those countries.