January 21, 2020
Heightened precautions are being taken in China and elsewhere at the moment, as governments are trying to control the outbreak of coronavirus, that threatens to grow during the Lunar New Year travel rush this weekend. 
Here’s What We Know About Coronavirus
Anxieties around the virus intensified after Chinese government expert Zhong Nanshan revealed that it can be spread between humans. Authorities had previously said there was no evidence of human-to-human transmission.
So far, four people have died, and more than 200 others have been infected. So, should we be worried?Related... At Least 3 Dead In China As Officials Say New Virus Can Spread With Human Contact What is coronavirus and where has it spread?The new type of coronavirus appears to have originated in the central city of Wuhan, which has reported 198 cases. Initial symptoms of the novel coronavirus include fever, cough, tightness of the chest and shortness of breath.
Others who have been diagnosed in Beijing, Shanghai and southern Guangdong province had also visited Wuhan. Internationally, four cases of coronavirus have been confirmed among Chinese travellers in South Korea, Japan and Thailand.
There has been concern that the outbreak is similar to Sars (severe acute respiratory syndrome), a different coronavirus that spread from China to more than a dozen countries in 2002-2003. 
When Sars first infected people in southern China, the Chinese government initially tried to conceal the severity of the epidemic, which ended up killing nearly 800 people. The cover-up was exposed by a high-ranking physician.
Gabriel Leung, dean of medicine at the University of Hong Kong, said Chinese authorities have responded much more quickly this time.Where did the virus come from?The first cases identified late last month were among people connected to the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan. The first patients were suspected to have contracted the virus from animals, but human-to-human transmission was confirmed late on Monday.
Mr Zhong, a government expert who helped expose the scale of Sars, told Chinese state broadcaster CCTV that two people in Guangdong province caught the virus from family members.
Fifteen medical workers have also tested positive for the virus, the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission announced. Previously, the commission said no-one who came into close contact with patients, including health professionals, were infected.
Professor Leung, who was heavily involved in the response to Sars, said modelling shows that cases will multiply over the coming weeks but the outbreak will gradually lose momentum as precautionary measures take effect.What measures are other countries taking?Numerous nations have adopted screening measures for travellers arriving from China, especially those from Wuhan.
Australia’s chief medical officer Brendan Murphy said his country will be increasing airport screening. Australia receives a significant number of travellers from China, including three direct flights a week from Wuhan into Sydney, and these flights will be met by border security and biosecurity staff for assessments.
Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and other places with extensive travel links to China are also enacting stricter screening measures. At least three US airports have started screening incoming airline passengers from central China. Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe said: “We need to step up our caution levels as the number of patients is continuing to rise in China. Please take every possible precaution.”
Health authorities in the UK are not screening arrivals on the flights from Wuhan to Heathrow.So, should we be worried?No. The World Health Organization says: “Based on currently available information, WHO does not recommend any restriction of travel or trade.” 
And even if you’re going to Wuhan itself, you shouldn’t cancel your trip. Dr Nick Phin, deputy director of the National Infection Service at Public Health England, says: “Based on the available evidence, the risk to travellers to Wuhan from this disease is low and we are not advising them to change their plans.
“Travellers should seek medical attention if they develop respiratory symptoms within 14 days of visiting Wuhan.”Before you go to your GP or A&E, call ahead to let them know about your symptoms and any recent travel.Related... More Than 1,000 People 'Likely' To Have Been Infected By New Chinese Virus Here Are 7 Things That Have Happened While The UK's Been Dilly-Dallying Over A Third Heathrow Runway Why The World Needs Pop-up Vaccine Factories
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