US passport holders should be aware that if they are planning on traveling to China any time in the near future, they’d better be healthy when they leave home! The Chinese government has introduced some pretty strict quarantine measures to try to stem the spread of the H1N1 “swine flu” virus, and international travelers are receiving extra scrutiny.
For example, this article in the New York Times tells the story of a mother whose daughter went to China for a language camp. It turns out that one of her classmates was ill with the H1N1 strain of flu. When her daughter starting running a fever, the Chinese government made her go into quarantine in a hospital.
From the story, the girl seems to have been well-taken-care of, but being forced into hospitalization in a foreign country is kind of unnerving experience for anyone. US passport holders should be aware not only of the risk of contracting swine flu during travel, but also of the risk of being detained until you are deemed no longer contagious-a much greater inconvenience than the illness itself, in many cases.
Of course, before you travel to another country, you need to be aware of all travel warnings and requirements. You also need to apply for your US passport well in advance, to ensure that you have all of your documents in time for travel. A passport expediting company can help smooth out the application process and speed up processing times.