Information pertaining to avian influenza (H7N9)

As of April 4, 2013, the Chinese authorities confirmed 14 cases of a new strain of avian influenza (H7N9) in Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, and Anhui.  A small number of new cases have been reported each day since Sunday, March 31, 2013, when three cases were initially reported by the Chinese authorities.  Thus far, no human-to-human transmission has been reported and no link has been found between the laboratory-confirmed cases. Individuals in close contact with the infected were tested and the results have all been negative. 

We want you to know that we are treating this situation seriously and are following medical protocols for students’ safe participation in our programs. As of this time, the H7N9 affected areas do not warrant any program changes, alterations, or cancellation. If the situation should change, all program participants, parents and home institutions will be notified.

The SIT Study Abroad office in Vermont is in regular contact with the academic director and other program staff to gather information about how the situation could impact the program. The academic director and her staff will discuss appropriate prevention methods with our students, our staff, and homestay families to limit potential exposure. In addition, please review the CDC guidelines for H7N9 virus precautions.

We will continue to monitor the situation and issue updates as needed. Please know that SIT is committed to its mission of helping students to understand the issues and realities of countries and cultures different from their own. Please do not hesitate to call our Brattleboro-based staff at 802-258-3212 if you have any questions or contact us at studentaffairs@sit.edu.

Regards,

The Student Affairs Team
SIT Study Abroad, a program of World Learning

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