An ongoing outbreak of pneumonia in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China has been linked to a newly-discovered coronavirus. This outbreak has been linked to possible exposure to infection at the South China Seafood City market in Wuhan. The market is now closed.
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) report that as of 26 January 2020, a total of 2,026 laboratory-confirmed 2019-nCoV cases have been reported, 1,988 in China and 38 imported cases from other countries around the world. Fifty six deaths have been reported among the cases. Chinese health authorities have confirmed human-to-human transmission outside Hubei province and 16 healthcare workers are reported to have been infected. Confirmed cases have been reported in Australia, Nepal, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, the US, Canada, Singapore, Vietnam and France.
This is a new and rapidly evolving situation where information on cases and the virus is being gathered and assessed daily.
As of 27 January 2020 the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to Hubei province. Travellers should check the FCO website for updates on a regular basis as travel advisories may change.
All travellers to China are advised to take simple precautions such as practicing good hand, personal and respiratory hygiene, and avoid contact with birds and animals in markets.
If travellers returning become unwell, particularly with respiratory symptoms, within 14 days of their return, they should call their GP or NHS 111 or NHS24 and report their recent travel.
A new TRAVAX web page gives further information on the novel coronavirus for health professionals delivering pre-travel advice. Information and advice on the outbreak can also be found on fitfortravel (for members of the general public).
Information on travel to China can be found on the TRAVAX (for health professionals) and fitfortravel (for the general public) websites.
Health Protection Scotland (HPS) has created a new webpage covering the coronavirus outbreak which covers clinical and laboratory guidance, advice for travellers and links to relevant organisations.
Sources: TRAVAX, 26 January 2020, ECDC, 26 January 2020 and HPS, 2020