Maria Van Kerkhove, acting head of emerging infectious diseases at the WHO, said: “Coronaviruses typically cause respiratory symptoms so we recommend basic hand hygiene such as washing hands in soap and water and respiratory hygiene so when you sneeze, sneeze into your elbow.”
She cautioned against any unnecessary contact with live animals in China.
Nick Phin, deputy director of the National Infection Service at Public Health England, added: “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.”
What advice has the UK government issued?
The government has not issued any travel or trade restrictions with China and says the risk to the UK is currently low and even the risk to travellers to Wuhan – a city of 11 million people – is also low.
However, it says its advice is constantly under review.
Travellers arriving on flights at Heathrow from Wuhan will be separated from other passengers and Public Health England has announced “enhanced monitoring of direct flights” and health workers on site to greet incoming flights from Wuhan. Although the unprecedented quarantine in place in China means flights have temporarily been halted.