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COVID Continues & China Travel Reopens. Should You Go?

COVID continues to make news in the U.S. and around the world. With the XBB.1.5 variant now the dominant strain in the U.S., there is some discussion about it potentially being the most transmissible variant thus far. However, TAG feels that we need to watch for a few weeks yet to determine the accuracy of that.

Across the world, COVID is definitely making news in China where the Zero-COVID precautions and restrictions that have been in place for the past couple of years, have been abruptly dropped. This means that travel to the country is now open, however TAG would caution care should you choose or need to go. Although restrictions are dropped, case rates remain high with an ongoing surge, particularly in the countryside where fewer are vaccinated.

Given that, it may be best to wait a bit if you do not need to be there immediately. If you do go, plan to wear good quality masks, take precautions, and understand the policies that are in place, such as: What happens if you do test positive when you are there? Are testing policies in place where you are going in the country? Are your own vaccines up to date? Good sources of information are the China Briefing and the U.S. Embassy in China.

COVID Risk Matrix:


Infectious Disease News

  • Measles. Cases continue to rise in India among unvaccinated children, leading to some deaths. Most measles cases in the Pune area are among migrants to the city, who came during the pandemic and had not vaccinated their children.
  • Strep A. Higher than typical rates of Strep A infections have been observed in Australia, the US, and the Netherlands.
  • Influenza. The Canadian flu season may be winding down, shown through data, but it may be the calm before a potential spike in COVID, experts say.
  • COVID. COVID strain called “The Kraken” or XBB.1.5 is said to be the most transmissible subvariant that has been detected so far. The Kraken is believed to be behind a growing number of cases in the US, Canada, part of England and Ireland and other countries such as France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Australia, Singapore, and India. Some experts have declared this subvariant as immune-evasive. It’s not as susceptible to natural immunity or vaccines. XBB.1.5 accounts for almost 41% of confirmed COVID cases across the US.

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