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Coronavirus: UK monitoring novel virus, as it spreads beyond China

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The virus has originated in China The virus has originated in China

Public Health England (PHE) is monitoring a reported outbreak of a novel coronavirus in Wuhan City, China, and has offered advice to travellers to the area regarding this as well as the ongoing avian flu risk.

Currently, the risk to the UK population is very low and the risk to travellers to Wuhan is low, but the situation is under constant review. PHE has issued clinical guidance for the detection and diagnosis of Wuhan Novel Coronavirus. There are no confirmed cases of this new infection in the UK.

‘Based on the available evidence, the current risk to the UK is very low. We are working with the WHO and other international partners, have issued advice to the NHS and are keeping the situation under constant review,’ said Dr Nick Phin, Deputy Director, National Infection Service, Public Health England.

‘People travelling to Wuhan should maintain good hand, respiratory and personal hygiene and should avoid visiting animal and bird markets or people who are ill with respiratory symptoms. Individuals should seek medical attention if they develop respiratory symptoms within 14 days of visiting Wuhan, either in China or on their return to the UK, informing their health service prior to their attendance about their recent travel to the city.’

As of Monday 20 January 2020, the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission has reported 217 cases of Wuhan Novel Coronavirus. Four of these cases have been diagnosed outside of China – 2 in Thailand, one in Japan and one in South Korea, following travel to Wuhan, China. There have also now been cases in other cities in China. There have been 3 fatalities.

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