China's H1N1 Quarantines Trap Healthy Travelers

Slight temp, runny nose enough to get you a 3-day forced hospital stay
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 29, 2009 10:30 AM CDT
A airport worker wearing a mask as a precaution directs a passenger at the capital airport in Beijing Friday, May 29 , 2009.   (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
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(Newser) – Now might not be the best time to visit China: the country's aggressive swine flu screening policies have kept even healthy travelers in isolation, the Washington Post reports. One Virginia man was deemed a threat to public health and quarantined for three days because he got off a plane with a temperature of 98.9, not even a degree above normal.

Although the strict screening measures seem to be working to stem the spread of the disease—China has seen only 14 cases out of the 13,000 worldwide—they haven't been a boon for the country's image. In a typical case, group of American schoolkids was confined to a hotel for all but one day of their weeklong vacation. "They're learning how not every place is like the United States, that's for sure," said one mother.