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Health Alert Update

Updated on 20 January 2020

The Situation:

As of Monday, 20 January, 139 more people have been diagnosed with a mysterious respiratory illness originating in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province and a major transportation hub, bringing the total number of cases to 201. Forty-one people are in serious condition and three have died (two of which had pre-existing, underlying conditions).

Chinese scientists are calling it a new strain of coronavirus, a large virus family that includes SARs and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). The spread of the outbreak comes as the country gets ready for the Lunar New Year holiday later this week. On Sunday, the World Health Organization (WHO) said that there was evidence of "limited human-to-human transmission" of the new virus raising fears of a wider regional outbreak.

Over the weekend, two cases were reported in Beijing and one in Shenzhen, China. All three patients are believed to have visited Wuhan. South Korea also reported its first case of a 35-year-old Chinese woman was detected by temperature screening upon arriving at Seoul's Incheon International Airport from Wuhan.

Last week, Singapore reported two more suspected cases, while Japan confirmed its first case, and Thailand reported its second confirmed case of the virus. All of the patients recently traveled to Wuhan.

The Centers for Disease Control have issued an Alert Level 1 – Practice Usual Precautions. See LINK for further details and updates.

Symptoms to Watch Out For:

Authorities have advised citizens to be on the lookout for the following symptoms:

  • Fever

  • Difficulty breathing

  • Cough

  • Pneumonia

Mitigating Measures to Apply:

  • Monitor local authorities for updates

  • Avoid contact with animals (alive or dead)

  • Avoid animal markets

  • Avoid products that come from animals (such as uncooked meat)

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water; use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water isn’t available

  • Avoid exposure to those presenting the above symptoms

  • Allow extra time for screening at airports

  • Enroll in a Safe Traveler Program to receive warnings from your preferred embassy

DISCLAIMER and Hold Harmless

Disclaimer: LSDS™ gathers information from multiple sources and offers insight and perspective to travelers. Sources cannot be validated for accuracy in every instance. Travelers assume all risk associated with their travel and are responsible for the decisions associated with travel and for their own safety. Users of this reference document agree, to hold harmless LSDS™ (LLC) its employees and clients associated with any risk or injury incurred during travel.


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