Since school sports teams are not a hot item in the Chinese educational system, almost all schools block off a yearly 3 days of sporting events for students to enjoy competing with one another. This usually includes track and field events as well as basketball, volleyball, ping-pong and badminton tournaments. Last year when this took place at my school in Guangxi, I took advantage of my days off to have my annual physical done. This is required for my visa renewal and must be taken at the provincial health clinic designated for those traveling overseas, both foreigners and Chinese.
Having just finished 4 days in Chengdu for the Tomb Sweeping Festival, it looks like I’ll be returning yet again tomorrow to follow a similar schedule as last year. Our school has scheduled their annual sports’ meeting this week, meaning no classes for 3 days and also a perfect opportunity for me to complete my health certificate requirements for my visa.
While I’d much rather hang out and enjoy the festivities of cheering on the students, this is the only opportunity I will have to get this done without missing classes.
I have already been given permission for this so it looks like I won’t be reporting back for another week until I return after April 13.
Avian Flu H7N9: A Top Priority Among Clinics
If you read about last year’s exam, you’ll notice it is quite an efficient, well-organized, quick procedure to accomplish. The clinics are state-of-the art facilities with easy check-in for patients. After visiting numerous designated stations for testing, usually a 45-minute process, I return 2 days later to receive my official report and certificate. The Chinese are mostly testing for infectious diseases, in the past being those illnesses sexually transmitted and also TB, which has been on the rise.
This time around, I’m very certain that they’ll be on the look-out for the new strain of avian flu, H7N9. This has been isolated to Shanghai, far from us, and has only been found in those who have had direct contact with infected poultry, chicken and pigeons thus far. At present, reports have it that 6 have died, 18 are infected but the number is growing.
Transmission from human to human has not yet been the case but one never knows when or if that will ever take place. Health professionals are on their guard, even so far away as Sichuan. This especially goes for the country’s official exit and entry health clinics, such as the one I’ll be visiting early Wednesday morning. I’ll be interested to see what extra precautions, if any, they’ll be taking when conducting our tests, such as more aggressive analysis of our samples.
Hopefully, everything will be fine and I’ll receive a “100% Excellent” report to hand in for my next visa.
Always a Little Apprehension
Despite my fanatic daily health routine of swimming and eating right, I always have just a little apprehension when awaiting the results of such things. I especially get a tad nervous for this particular place in Chengdu which announced me as having syphilis 5 years ago.
A second test showed this was merely an error but it was still a moment of utter disbelief and panic on my part. I honestly would rather not have that repeated.
From Luzhou, China, here’s Ping An (Peace) for your day.