Outbreak of pneumonia in Wuhan City, Hubei, China

14 January 2020

Article: 54/201

An outbreak of pneumonia in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, has been linked to a newly-discovered coronavirus.

As of 12 January 2020, there have been 41 confirmed cases and one death. The death occurred in a patient with serious underlying medical conditions.

Coronaviruses are a well-recognised cause of human illnesses that range from mild to severe. This outbreak has been linked to possible exposure to infection at the South China Seafood City market in Wuhan. No cases have been confirmed outside the city.

While the risk to UK travellers to Wuhan is currently considered low, because of this incident and the general ongoing risk of avian flu in China, travellers are advised to take simple precautions such as practicing good hand, personal and respiratory hygiene, and to minimise contact with birds and animals in markets in Wuhan or elsewhere in China.

If travellers returning from Wuhan or elsewhere in China become unwell within 14 days of their return to the UK, particularly with respiratory symptoms, they should call their GP or NHS 111 and report their recent travel details.

Further information and travel advice can be found on the UK Government website. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has also published a rapid risk assessment on the outbreak.

Further information on travel to China can be found on the TRAVAX (for health professionals) and fitfortravel (for the general public) websites.

Sources: TRAVAX, 10 January 2020 and World Health Organization (WHO), 12 January 2020