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Coronavirus (Ministero della salute)
Attualità Salute e Scienze

Novel coronavirus in China: advice for international travel (VIDEO)

Chinese authorities have identified a cluster of novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV infection in Wuhan City, China: advice for international travel. The patients showed symptoms such as fever, dyspnoea, and were diagnosed as viral pneumonia. (Le autorità cinesi hanno identificato un gruppo di nuove infezioni da #Coronavirus 2019-nCoV in #Wuhan città, #China: consigli per i viaggi internazionali. I pazienti hanno mostrato sintomi come febbre, dispnoea, e sono stati diagnosticati come polmonite virale.)

Novel coronavirus in China: advice for international travel (VIDEO)

WHO advice for international travel and trade in relation to the outbreak of pneumonia caused by a new coronavirus in China

Cases with travel history to Wuhan have been detected in other areas of China, such as Beijing and Guangdong. Thailand, Japan and South Korea have also reported cases.

Contact tracing activities and applied hygiene and environmental sanitation activities in Wuhan are ongoing.

Human-to-human transmission has been confirmed but more information is needed to evaluate the full extent of this mode of transmission. The source of infection is unknown and could still be active. Therefore, the likelihood of infection for travellers visiting Wuhan having close contact with symptomatic individuals is considered moderate. Consequently, the likelihood of importation of cases of 2019-nCoV to the EU/EEA is also considered to be moderate.

Three airports in the European Union (EU) have direct flight connections to Wuhan and there are indirect flight connections to other EU hubs. 

The upcoming Chinese New Year celebrations at the end of January will cause an increased travel volume to/from China and within China, hence increasing the likelihood of arrival in the EU of possible cases.

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.

Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people.  Detailed investigations found that SARS-CoV was transmitted from civet cats to humans and MERS-CoV from dromedary camels to humans. Several known coronaviruses are circulating in animals that have not yet infected humans.

On 31 December 2019, the WHO China Country Office was informed of cases of pneumonia of unknown etiology (unknown cause) detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China. A novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) was identified as the causative virus by Chinese authorities on 7 January.

On 10 January, WHO published a range of interim guidance for all countries on how they can prepare for this virus, including how to monitor for sick people, test samples, treat patients, control infection in health centres, maintain the right supplies, and communicate with the public about this new virus.

Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death. 

Based on currently available information, WHO does not recommend any restriction of travel or trade. Countries are encouraged to continue strengthening their preparedness for health emergencies in line with the International Health Regulations (2005).Standard recommendations to prevent infection spread include regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs. Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.

Based on currently available information, WHO does not recommend any restriction of travel or trade. Countries are encouraged to continue strengthening their preparedness for health emergencies in line with the International Health Regulations (2005).

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