Follow our live coronavirus blog here with the latest news for travel and tourism.
Update February 13th: More than 60,000 cases have been confirmed worldwide with 1,537 deaths from the virus. 25 countries have confirmed cases, with several travel quarantines in place for recent visitors from China.
Update February 7th: More than 31,161 cases have been confirmed worldwide with 636 deaths from the virus. A Chinese doctor who first broke the news on the virus epidemic has died in hospital. There is also a global shortage of protective face masks.
Update February 4th, 2020: Hong Kong reports its first death from the coronavirus, a 39-year-old man with a pre-existing, underlying illness. China death toll has hit 425 with more than 20,438 cases total. See a live map of cases here. See travel advice here.
Update February 3rd, 2020: The death toll has hit 362 with more than 17,300 confirmed cases of Coronavirus worldwide.
Update January 31st, 2020: The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the virus a global health emergency. Death toll has hit 221, with almost 10,000 cases worldwide.
Update January 30th 2020: Coronavirus has now spread from China to several countries. There are cases in India, the Philippines, Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, USA, Canada, and France. There are also cases in Germany, Malaysia, Macau and Cambodia. The death toll has hit 170 with more than 7,711 confirmed cases in China alone.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is currently deciding whether to declare an outbreak of a flu-like virus in China an international public health emergency.’ The outbreak of coronavirus began in early December 2019 in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.
Chinese health officials have reported hundreds of cases in the city of Wuhan. So far, deaths have risen to 17. Cases have also been identified in travellers from Wuhan to other parts of China and other countries. But – before you panic – read on to see what you need to know. From a live map of where coronavirus is spreading, to how this affects travellers to and from China…
What Is Coronavirus?
According to the Centre of Disease and Control (CDC), coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Human coronaviruses commonly cause mild to moderate illness in people worldwide. Two newer human coronaviruses, MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV, can frequently cause severe illness.
How Does it Spread?
Rarely, viruses can spread from animals to humans. This seems to be the case here, as the first people sick are all linked to eating seafood from a food market in Wuhan. Now, however, person-to-person spread is occurring. It’s still unclear how easily the virus spreads between people.
Standard tips to prevent infection spread include:
- Regular hand washing
- Covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing
- Use hand sanitizer
- Thoroughly cook meat and eggs
- Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness
- Elderly people are more at risk
Where is Coronavirus Spreading in the World?
There’s reports of new cases in a growing number of countries across the world. The first case in the United States was announced on January 21st, 2020. There are also reports of cases in Japan, Thailand and South Korea. This map shows current outbreak locations of the virus.
You Can See a Live Map of Coronavirus Here
I’m Planning on Travelling to/from China… What do I Need to Know?
- Travellers to Wuhan, China, should avoid contact with sick people, animals (alive or dead), and animal markets.
- Travellers may be have to answer questions about their health and travel history upon arrival. There will be entry screenings at five airports in the US.
As of now, no travel restrictions are in place just yet, so keep an eye out for the latest news.
We will update this post regularly with any new updates of outbreaks.