Jess

Top 5 insurance requirement considerations for sending employees overseas

Top 5 insurance requirement considerations for sending employees overseas

Sending workers overseas represents a huge responsibility for employers, which is why proper planning and following the right insurance requirements can, quite literally, save lives.

While working abroad can be a very exciting opportunity for expats, employees will likely find themselves feeling vulnerable to a myriad of potential pitfalls when working in unfamiliar locations – and not least in terms of healthcare and safety risks. As such, safeguarding your employees overseas is imperative, not just as a legal and moral obligation but also as a social responsibility.

The need to follow the right insurance requirements when sending employees overseas is widely known. Despite this, a recent UK-based survey cited in the International Travel & Health Insurance Journal found that only 7.8 percent of business owners are aware of the insurance requirements for sending employees overseas. What’s more, the majority of respondents (67.3 percent) said they did not know the insurance requirements, while 24.9 percent said they weren’t entirely sure of the requirements.

To clear up some of the uncertainty around insurance requirements and sending your employees abroad, today we look at the following 5 important factors you should consider before you send your workers overseas.

1. Check up on regional insurance requirements

To ensure that your employees are protected from hefty medical bills abroad, health insurance coverage is essential. An important thing to consider here is whether there are any health insurance requirements in your employee’s destination country, as many countries are seeing increased implementation of health insurance regulations. For instance, the issue and renewal of employment visas in Abu Dhabi and Dubai is conditional upon proof at the time of application that the employer has in place appropriate health insurance for their employee.

2. Relying on local healthcare: Is it enough?

Relying on local healthcare systems can be a mixed bag, and really depends on the type of system the government provides. For example:

  • The UK’s NHS system offers free, state funded health cover at virtually no cost for a vast majority of their healthcare services.
  • Expats living in France are eligible to apply for the French national health insurance scheme – Couverture Maladie Universelle (CMU) – which covers around 80% of medical treatment costs.
  • EEA citizens can also apply for the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which provides free or discounted access to public healthcare when visiting a country within the EEA.
  • Some countries share reciprocal healthcare agreements with other countries. E.g., the Australian government has reciprocal healthcare agreements with 11 countries, meaning that Australian residents can access essential medical treatment when in these countries, and vice versa for residents of those countries visiting Australia.

It’s important to note here that even if your employee has the option of availing these local healthcare benefits, relying on these benefits alone in many cases may not be sufficient, especially for those on mid-to-long term secondments or expatriation. If that’s the case, we strongly advise securing international group health insurance, especially for businesses in multiple offices in different locations and employees who travel between them. This is even more essential for employees moving to countries with a poor quality of healthcare and are not eligible for care from local facilities.

3. Travel insurance or international insurance?

While travel insurance can be ideal for employees on short international assignments or visiting conferences, it likely won’t be the right type of plan for staff on mid-to-long term secondments or expatriation. This is because travel insurance often comes with much lower coverage limits than international health insurance, and is designed only to see the policyholder well enough to fly them back to their home country. On the other hand, international plans are designed for globally mobile expats and offer far more extensive medical coverage in both your employee’s home country and abroad. It’s also more customizable with options to add dental, maternity, vision and other wellness benefits at an extra premium.

4. Does your employer’s liability policy cover staff overseas?

In China, many businesses choose to secure additional employer’s liability insurance in excess of the compensation under the nation’s Work-related Injury Insurance regulation promulgated by the Social Security Administration Department of the State council. The important thing to note here is that many employers’ liability policies will not cover employees who work overseas for extended periods of time. Another thing to be aware of here is whether you’ll need to take out additional country-specific employer’s liability insurance to cover your workers in the event that they sustain any work-related injuries overseas.

5. Seek advice from an experienced broker

Virtually every corporate health insurance and business insurance plan out there is different, which is why it can be tough to find the appropriate cover for your business and your employees’ needs. As such, it pays to seek professional, impartial advice from insurance experts like Pacific Prime China. With extensive industry experience, we’ll do the research for you and provide you with market intelligence that puts you in the best position whenever you’re faced with a decision regarding your corporate coverage.

Got any more questions regarding group medical solutions and corporate insurance? Get in touch with the helpful advisors at Pacific Prime China today.

Posted by Jess in Group Health Insurance
Vaccinations in China: Do vaccines work, and will your health insurance cover it?

Vaccinations in China: Do vaccines work, and will your health insurance cover it?

With all the #VaccinesWork hashtags floating around social media lately, most of you probably know that the last week of April (24 – 30 April) was World Immunization Week. As an annual awareness initiative dedicated to promoting the power of vaccines, World Immunization Week addressed the issue that although vaccines have helped prevent at least 10 million deaths between 2010 and 2015, they’re still not fully utilized and there’s still progress to be made.

What’s more, the week also focused on validating information on vaccine safety, as many people today are still sceptical about vaccinations. This week’s article uncovers whether vaccines truly work, and looks at everything you need to know about vaccinations in regards to your expat health insurance policy.

Do vaccines really work?

In recognition of the end of World Immunization Week 2017, the World Health Organization (WHO) tweeted the following message about vaccines:

WHO VaccinesWork capture

Source: WHO’s Twitter page (2017)

But, how do vaccines save lives and prevent diseases? Despite the effectiveness of vaccines, many parents and caregivers remain concerned about whether vaccines are truly safe for their children.

Why are people so sceptical about vaccines?

There are many reasons behind why people are sceptical about vaccines. Firstly, the internet is filled with websites publishing misleading information regarding vaccine safety. Secondly, people are often afraid of what they don’t fully understand. Many people believe that the ingredients in vaccines are harmful, simply because they sound scary. For example, many people believe that a preservative called thimerosal present in vaccines is harmful because it has mercury in it.

Thimerosal is an antifungal agent used to preserve multi-dose vials of vaccine. While thimerosal does have mercury in it, it’s actually an ethyl mercury, which is a harmless type of mercury that gets flushed out of the body. On the other hand, methyl mercury is the bad type; commonly found in tuna and other fish species high up on the food chain (e.g. king mackerel, swordfish).

For further vaccine facts, you can also check out The Nib’s informative comic on how vaccines work:

The Nib vaccines comic capture

Source: The Nib (2014)

How vaccines work

The vital importance of vaccines can’t be stressed enough, because they prevent dangerous and deadly infectious diseases (e.g. polio). The use of vaccines has increased significantly since 2000. For example, by the end of 2015, 85% of the world’s children were injected with the measles vaccine – up from 73% in 2000. What’s more, since 1988 cases of polio have decreased by over 99%!

Vaccines work by injecting an imitation infection to provoke an immune response. This type of imitation infection does not cause illness, and instead causes the immune system to produce defensive white blood cells (T-lymphocytes) and antibodies.

These germ fighting tools help the body get over this imitation infection, and afterwards the immune system learns how to protect the body against that particular disease. Sometimes, the body may experience mild adverse symptoms (e.g. fever), as the body is building immunity against the infection.

Ever heard of the saying: “prevention is better than cure”? Despite ongoing advances in healthcare, diseases that vaccinations prevent can still be very deadly if you’re not vaccinated against them. As such, vaccinations are considered the best way to protect yourself from contracting a whole host of diseases.

Vaccinations in China

Expat parents in China are often concerned about what kind of vaccinations their children will need, as vaccination schedules vary between different countries. As vaccination schedules are designed around the prevalence of certain diseases in the country, you may find that China and other countries in Asia may provide vaccines that other countries outside of Asia may not. Expat parents should therefore make a balanced decision and consult with their doctor to find the best vaccination solution for their child.

Internationally standard vaccines, which are the vaccines that in most countries people should or are recommended to get starting from childhood, including the following:

  • DTaP: This vaccine provides protection against diphtheria (a bacterial infection affecting the nose and throat), tetanus (an infection that causes muscle spasms), and pertussis (whooping cough).
  • Polio: An infectious diseases that can cause muscle weakness and even muscle paralysis.
  • MMR: Provides protection against mumps (a contagious diseases that can lead to brain damage and even death), measles (a viral infection of the respiratory system) and rubella (a contagious disease that is very dangerous for pregnant women and their unborn child).
  • Hib: Provides protection against Haemophilus influenzae type b, a bacterium that can lead to a whole host of serious illnesses (e.g. meningitis), particularly in children.
  • Pneumococcal diseases: People with pneumococcal disease can develop pneumonia, blood infection, meningitis, and ear infections.

On top of the above vaccinations, the following vaccinations are especially recommended for people in China:

  • Japanese encephalitis: Protects against a mosquito-borne virus that can cause brain infection. It’s more of an issue in southern China, but Beijing has had cases as well.
  • Typhoid: A fever developed from consuming Salmonella-contaminated food.
  • Rabies: Rabies can be found in dogs, bats, and various other mammals. This vaccine is especially recommended for people often involved in outdoor activities, and children (as they tend to play with animals).
  • Yellow fever: While there’s no yellow fever risk in China, the country requires proof of the vaccination if you’re arriving from a country with risk of yellow fever.
  • Hepatitis B: This virus is an infectious inflammatory illness that affects the liver, and comes with a risk of chronic infection.
  • BCG: A vaccine against tuberculosis, an infectious diseases that in most cases affects the lungs.

Adults and teens need vaccinations too

A common misconception is that preventative vaccinations are for children only. What many people do not know is that adult boosters are also available. For example, most adults need a tetanus booster every ten years. There’s also what’s commonly known as the flu jab, an annual influenza vaccination that protects people against this highly contagious respiratory tract illness. This is not only recommended for younger children, but also advised for people who are particularly susceptible to developing more serious illnesses like pneumonia.

The 2016 illegal vaccine scandal

In May 2016, news headlines in China and worldwide were dominated by China’s illegal vaccine scandal, which saw 135 people in 22 provinces arrested for running vaccine businesses without a license. Ten on-duty health officials were also found guilty of knowingly buying illegal vaccines and using them on people at local public health centres.

This was not the first time that a vaccine scandal has occurred. In March 2016, 2 million doses of vaccines were found to be improperly stored. In light of these scandals, expats often opt for treatment at private hospitals for further peace of mind, a higher standard of care, and imported vaccines. Private care does, however, come with a hefty price tag, which is why securing private health insurance is key.

Vaccinations and your health insurance

Vaccinations can be very expensive at private hospitals, so it’s a good idea to check whether your health insurance includes cover for vaccinations. Typically supplied under the outpatient benefit of a number of China health insurance plans, the vaccination benefit will ensure that you and/or your child are protected against the high cost of receiving vaccinations.

Things to look out for

It’s important that you study your policy and look out for all plan limitations. For example, many insurers may cap the coverage amount on that benefit, meaning the limit may not be high enough to reimburse you for all your vaccination expenses. You may also find that the vaccination benefit in your plan is limited only to the types of vaccines it covers.

Cover for vaccinations may also be subject to a waiting period, meaning you’ll need to wait a specific amount of time from when you first secured your plan before you can receive coverage for that benefit. Some plans are also more flexible than others, meaning that you’ll be able to tailor your plan so that they provide the vaccination coverage for your children, rather than the adults in your family.

Vaccinations can be very expensive, which is why it often helps to clarify with your broker or insurer as to whether or not your health insurance covers the vaccination benefit. Contact our team of insurance experts to learn more today!

Posted by Jess in Health Insurance
Fighting the health effects of air pollution: The benefits of antioxidants and omega-3s

Fighting the health effects of air pollution: The benefits of antioxidants and omega-3s

Take a deep breath: 1.6 million people die in China every year from breathing toxic air pollution. Over 300 cities in the nation suffer from worrying levels of harmful air pollutants, especially in the northern region. E.g. in December 2016, the capital of northern Hebei province, Shijiazhuang, recorded 1,000 micrograms per cubic metre of PM 2.5 (fine particulate matter small enough to travel deep into the lungs). This far exceeds the WHO guideline of no more than 10 micrograms – by 100 times!

As touched upon in our recent article on reducing the health risks of air pollution, wearing a protective mask, decreasing your time spent outdoors and using an air purifier can help provide protection from smog. What’s more, proactive diners are also fighting the harmful health effects of smog by changing what they eat. This week’s article explains everything you need to know about the link between healthier eating and the effects of air pollution.

The negative health effects of air pollution

Before we look at how healthy eating can help combat smog, let’s first address the negative health effects of air pollution. Exposure to toxic levels of PM2.5 increases the risk of numerous short and long term harmful health effects.

Groups that are more vulnerable to these harmful health risks include the elderly, pregnant women, young children, and people suffering from conditions such as asthma and heart disease.

Short term health effects

According to National Geographic, the temporary health effects from exposure to air pollution include:

  • Pneumonia, a lung infection which causes lung inflammation
  • Bronchitis, an inflammation of the bronchial tube lining
  • Wheezing
  • Headache and dizziness
  • Irritation to the nose, throat, eyes, or skin

Long term health effects

Long term effects from exposure to air pollution are more serious, and can last for several years up to an entire lifetime. They can even lead to mortality. These effects include:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Lung cancer
  • Respiratory disease (e.g. emphysema)
  • Nerve, brain, kidney, and liver damage
  • Some scientists believe it may also cause birth defects

To avoid these harmful health risks, it’s therefore important to adopt protection strategies to minimize the effects of smog.

How healthier eating can address the effects of air pollution

As the Chinese urban population continues to grow, this has in effect created a shift from the traditional preference for fresh food and wet markets to prepackaged foods and supermarkets. Major international retail giants like ParkNshop and Carrefour, as well as Chinese retail chains and convenient stores continue to thrive as a strong platform targeting the younger generation with ready-to-eat meals and processed foods. As a result, there’s a worrying trend towards a growing number of people adopting diets characterized by low nutrient profiles (e.g. lacking in antioxidants).

The importance of antioxidants and omega-3s

Eastern and Western practitioners, as well as nutritionists and naturopaths all agree that the type of food we eat have a profound impact on our immune systems. So, why not fortify your diet with the right nutrients? By doing so, we’re helping our bodies remain as healthy as possible so that it’s less vulnerable to contracting diseases.

What are antioxidants?

According to WebMD, antioxidants can help protect the body from damage caused by free radicals. A person may be exposed to free radicals through air pollutants. As such, adopting a diet rich in antioxidants can be a great way to stabilize these free radicals. For example, regular consumption of fruits and vegetables with carotenoids (e.g. carrots), which is an orange antioxidant pigment, has shown to be effective in reducing the risk of developing lung cancer. Other high antioxidant foods include goji berries, blueberries and kidney beans.

What are omega-3s?

Omega-3 fatty acids are the type of fat you don’t want to cut back on. Typically found in fish, seeds and nuts, omega-3s deliver a range of excellent health benefits. For instance, some studies even found that it can help lower levels of depression. Several studies also suggest that foods high in omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids can help provide protection against inflammation. As a common health effect of air pollution is lung inflammation, consuming omega-3 rich foods such as mackerels, salmon, flaxseed and walnuts may have a beneficial effect on controlling various lung conditions (e.g. asthma).

Does it really work?

The answer to this question will of course depend on your expectations. The idea of healthier eating is that it will help you improve your health and boost your immune system in the long term, so eating a nutrient rich salad for lunch won’t mean that you’ll be breathing easier come bedtime.

As it can be hard to properly measure the benefits of healthier eating, adopting this approach may seem negligible to some, but you could do worse than giving it a try. Of course, besides eating nutrient rich foods, methods such as staying away from heavily trafficked roads and wearing a protective mask are still very important in offsetting the harmful health risks of air pollution.

Final advice: Don’t forget health insurance

While it’s of course important to have a healthy diet, it’s also essential to obtain health insurance should you require medical treatment for air pollution related illnesses or another condition. By securing health insurance, you’ll be able to offset the high cost of private treatment in China or elsewhere.

As virtually every health insurance plan out there is different, it can be tricky to shop around for the best value medical insurance plan that addresses your specific healthcare needs. This is why it can pay to get in touch with an experienced broker like Pacific Prime China.

Posted by Jess in Health Insurance
Pregnancy technology for tech-savvy parents and parents-to-be

Pregnancy technology for tech-savvy parents and parents-to-be

Let’s face it, welcoming a new addition to the family can be daunting, but pregnancy technology may just help make things incredibly easier for parents and parents-to-be. From conception to pregnancy and beyond, a growing number of consumer gadgets and tools are helping those who want to be more involved in their own care.

Due to a number of reasons, China is a market with huge potential for pregnancy technology. For instance, the newly introduced two-child policy, which came into effect in January 2016, has meant that around 90 million women have become eligible by law to have a second child. As a result, consumer demand for maternity products have since soared dramatically following the new policy relaxation announcement.

From online tools such as ovulation calendars to wearable baby thermometers, our article looks at everything you need to know about pregnancy technology and its role in revolutionizing the maternity experience.

Pre-pregnancy technology: Increasing the odds of pregnancy

For many couples, getting pregnant may require a lot more than just having intercourse. Thankfully, there’s a whole range of pre-pregnancy technology on the market that may just give you the best chance of getting pregnant.

Online ovulation calendars help predict ovulation

Successful conception can come down to an exact science. These days, the internet is full of free online tools that help women predict what time in their cycle they will be ovulating. One such example is our very own ovulation calendar, which you can access by visiting our maternity health insurance page.

Ovulation calendars work by estimating a woman’s fertile days. In other words, it works out the fertile period in a woman’s menstrual cycle when the likelihood of conceiving increases if they have intercourse until two days before and including the day they ovulate. This usually occurs mid-cycle, so ovulation calendars count 14 days backwards from the first day of the woman’s anticipated period.

To use our ovulation calendar, simply enter the date of your last period, and the average length of your cycle. Then, indicate whether your cycle is regular or irregular. After that, click next, and there you have it: you now have an estimation of your next fertile period, as well as the resulting due date.

Testing male fertility from the comfort of your own home

Did you know that around one third of all fertility issues are attributed to men? Common reasons for male fertility issues include low sperm count, as well as reduced sperm mobility. Hailed the “FitBit for sperm”, Trak is a male fertility testing system that allows men to measure and improve their sperm health from the comfort of their own home.

Designed by leading men’s reproductive specialists, it helps men identify whether their sperm concentrations are low, moderate, or optimal. For further information on how Trak works, you can visit their website’s “science behind Trak” page here.

What’s more, the Trak testing system also works with its dedicated Trak: Sperm Health & Fertility app, where users can log and track their sperm test results over time. The app further breaks down semen analysis, and provides personalized tips to improve the user’s reproductive health.

Enhancing the pregnancy experience with prenatal gadgets

Expectant moms want to have the most informed pregnancy possible, and be more involved in their prenatal care. Now, more and more pregnant moms are using consumer technology to monitor and keep track of their pregnancy.

Sound systems for the belly

While there’s no definitive conclusion as to whether playing music or other types of sound has any profound effect on the baby’s development, there are a growing number of baby-bump sound systems on the market. Pregnant moms can now use gadgets such as BellyBuds to play music or even voice recordings to their baby in-utero. All you have to do is adhere the discrete BellyBuds speakers to your belly, and then you can start playing music to your baby wherever you go.

Listening to your baby’s heartbeat

To enjoy the special moment of listening to your baby’s heartbeat in the comfort of your own home, you may want to consider a device like Shell by Bellabeat. This pregnancy technology gadget screens out noise and amplifies the sound of the baby in-utero for those listening in. Additionally, users can record and share their baby’s heartbeat to their friends and family.

Caring for the newborn with post-pregnancy technology

Caring for a newborn can be stressful, and new parents need all the help they can get. From smart clothing to smart pacifiers, let’s look at some of the most revolutionary post-pregnancy technology that are helping new parents look after their newborn child.

Monitoring your baby’s sleep

Monitoring your baby’s sleep to track patterns and changes can ensure that everyone, including the baby and the caregiver, gets quality sleep. With Mimo, a onesie attached to a wearable sensor, you can monitor the baby’s body position, skin temperature and breathing in real-time, as well as see if they’re awake or asleep through its dedicated app.

Taking your baby’s temperature with smart pacifiers

Newborns have weaker immune systems than adults, so it’s important to track and monitor your baby’s temperature on a regular basis. However, it can be tricky to track your baby’s temperature frequently, especially when they’re sleeping. This is where devices like smart pacifiers can help.

Pacif-i is a bluetooth low energy pacifier that continuously monitors your baby’s temperature. Acting as both a pacifier and a smart thermometer, you can receive temperature readings via its dedicated app without disturbing your baby, even when you’re in a different room.

Don’t forget to secure maternity insurance

While pregnancy technology gadgets are indeed revolutionizing the maternity experience and making things a lot easier for tech-savvy parents and parents-to-be, it’s important not to overlook maternity insurance. Private healthcare can be incredibly expensive in China, which is why we advise moms-to-be to obtain maternity insurance early enough on their policy.

The thing to be aware of with maternity insurance is that in most cases it comes with a waiting period of 10 – 12 months. With this in mind, if you’re planning to start a new family, you will need to secure maternity insurance before you conceive if you want to ensure that your maternity costs are covered.

Got any more questions regarding maternity insurance or health insurance in general? Be sure to get in touch with the experts at Pacific Prime China today.

Posted by Jess in Health Insurance, Maternity Insurance
China bird flu cases are surging, in deadliest outbreak since 2009

China bird flu cases are surging, in deadliest outbreak since 2009

Recent news headlines have reported a surge in the China bird flu death toll, where in the months of January and February a total of 140 people died from the deadly H7N9 strain of the bird flu virus. The amount of deaths in the first two months of 2017 alone has already surpassed the annual totals of avian flu reported in recent years. In 2010, the H1N1 subtype led to a death toll of 147.

The alarming spike of avian flu recorded in 2017 has thus placed the H7N9 strain of bird flu at the top of the list of pandemic threats from among a dozen avian and animal flu viruses, which has afflicted several hundred people in China for the past few flu seasons, since the first human case was reported in 2013.

Where did bird flu H7N9 originate from?

First discovered in China back in 2013, the H7N9 strain of bird flu was relatively rare, with about 100 to 300 reported cases each year. However, this flu season has seen a whopping 460 confirmed cases of H7N9, mostly in eastern China. This is quite alarming, considering that the average cases of H7N9 between 2013 to 2016 is around 200.

Avian flu has been around for a long time, and first originated in aquatic birds (e.g. ducks), who occasionally make their way into domestic poultry flocks (e.g. chicken). The virus can then trigger sporadic human infections, usually among people who work within close vicinity of infected poultry, e.g. in wet markets.

In December last year, Hinchliffe and three co-authors published a book titled: Pathological Lives: Disease, Space and Biopolitics, which argued that a number of factors, including selective breeding and the surge in poultry populations, have facilitated the evolution of bird flu. For instance, the use of antibiotics in making birds grow faster has meant that disease tolerance is often compromised.

Most bird flu viruses are not lethal to poultry, as they are what scientists term a “low path virus”, which usually causes no disease or only very mild illness in poultry, e.g. a drop in egg production. H7N9 bird flu was originally, up until recently, a low path virus. However, the virus can evolve and become highly pathogenic if they are allowed to circulate for too long, especially in live poultry markets where birds are crowded into small cages, sometimes for several days. This allowed the virus to mutate and spread to humans.

What’s so alarming about the H7N9 strain of bird flu?

460 cases of H7N9 cases may not sound like a big deal to a lot of people, but here’s a few reasons why you shouldn’t be so sanguine about it:

  1. The H7N9 strain has an alarmingly high fatality rate. 41% of people who get it, die.
  2. In 2017 an evolved form of the H7N9 strain has popped up. As it’s new, the current vaccines don’t work as well against it.
  3. In cases where H7N9 evolves into a high path virus, it can cause illnesses that spread a lot more easily inside the body, thus resulting in more damage and a much higher chance of mortality.

What are the odds that the virus will spread between humans?

Virtually all cases of H7N9 cases have been confined to mainland China, mainly in the provinces of Zhejiang, Guangdong, and Jiangsu. People mainly catch the virus from exposure to infected poultry.

The odds of human-to-human H7N9 bird flu transmission are very low, although this can potentially happen to caregivers or immediate family members with weak immune systems. Further mutations in the virus could also mean that the virus may become more easily transmittable between humans in the future.

What are the symptoms of H7N9 bird flu?

The H7N9 virus causes major respiratory symptoms (e.g. severe pneumonia) that can be life threatening.

During the early stages of an H7N9 infection, people will usually experience the following symptoms, which are much akin to what one experiences with the common flu:

  • Fever
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain

In later stages, H7N9 infection causes the following:

  • Pneumonia in both lungs
  • Acute respiratory distress syndrome
  • Multi-organ dysfunction
  • Septic shock (a medical emergency caused by blood infection)
  • Muscle breakdown

What can I do to avoid catching bird flu?

Since H7N9 and other forms of bird flu are mainly transmitted through exposure to infected live poultry, it’s best advised to avoid going to live bird markets or backyard farms, especially in China. Experts say it’s also important to ensure that all poultry products that you’re eating are fully cooked.

Is there a vaccine available to protect yourself against H7N9?

As of the writing of this article, there’s no vaccine publically available to protect against H7N9, although a number pharmaceutical companies have been working on developing vaccines that are currently being tested in animal and human trials. There are however a few vaccines available for preventing the H5N1 subtype of avian flu, which had its first reported outbreak in humans back in 1997.

Are the illnesses caused by H7N9 bird flu treatable?

Antiviral drugs that are used against common flu viruses are also used to treat people infected with H7N9. These include: Oseltamivir (which is sold as Tamiflu), and Zanamivir (sold as Relenza). The most important thing to note here is that these drugs are the most effective when they are administered at the earliest opportunity possible. Another thing to note is that as H7N9 evolves, it may become highly resistant to these drugs.

Final advice

It’s important to consider securing a comprehensive health insurance plan so that, should you require medical care, be it bird flu related or another medical condition, your costs are covered and you are able to access healthcare at the best private facilities in China and internationally. To learn more and get a free quote, contact the insurance experts at Pacific Prime China today!

Posted by Jess in Health Insurance, News