A deadly disease named Coronavirus has spread all over China, and shows no sign of stopping any time soon. Here is a quick explainer on what it means for China-bound tourists. By Bayar Jain

Similar to the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), a respiratory disease that broke out in 2002 in Hongkong and Mainland China, the Coronavirus has been detected in the country, causing widespread alarm. Currently 139 new cases have been reported in Beijing and Shenzhen alone. Moreover, three deaths have been reported in Wuhan. These incidents, however, are not constrained by China’s borders. Thailand, South Korea, and Japan have also reported cases of outbreak.

The What And How Of Coronavirus

The Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a family of viruses that is believed to have originated from animals. On first analysis, a link between Wuhan’s Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market and the spread of the virus was suspected. However, newer cases have not had any exposure to the market. A possible cause for this, however, could be attributed to the fact that the market has been closed for disinfection.

Symptoms for this virus are wide-ranging. The infections could range from anything between common cold to SARS. Fever, cough, and respiratory difficulties are some of the many symptoms that could arise as a result of the virus. In severe cases, it could even lead to pneumonia, kidney failure and death. The comforting factor, however, is that the virus cannot be transmitted through people. Having said that, one must also keep in mind that a clear mode of transmission has not been identified yet.

Travel Advisory

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#Mundo | OMS pone en alerta a hospitales de todo el mundo por misterioso virus surgido en China La Organización Mundial de la Salud (OMS) informó hoy de que se han puesto en marcha medidas de prevención en los hospitales de todo el mundo ante un nuevo coronavirus en China, después de que se registraran más de 40 casos en la ciudad de Wuhan (centro) y el pasado día 11 se informara del primer fallecimiento. “Nos preparamos ante hipotéticos contagios masivos, por lo que se tomaron medidas de prevención y control de infecciones para que los hospitales de todo el mundo apliquen las precauciones habituales”, destacó la directora en funciones del departamento de enfermedades emergentes de la OMS, Maria Van Kerkhove. La experta señaló la posibilidad de que haya habido algún caso de contagio entre humanos, especialmente entre miembros de una misma familia (aunque aún no se ha probado este extremo), y subrayó que el nuevo coronavirus es similar a otros surgidos en años recientes, como el síndrome respiratorio agudo y grave (SARS) o el síndrome respiratorio de Oriente Medio (MERS). “La experiencia contra el SARS y el MERS nos ha preparado para esto, la comunidad global está tomando medidas preventivas y todos los sistemas están preparados para activarse”, declaró en rueda de prensa. La alerta por el nuevo virus, al parecer originado en un mercado de pescado de Wuhan, aumentó al conocerse un primer caso fuera de China (un tailandés que había viajado a esa ciudad a orillas del Yangtsé), aunque por ahora la OMS no ha emitido alertas a quienes visiten esa localidad ni ha establecido un comité de emergencia. De los 41 casos confirmados en China, seis se encuentran en estado grave pero otros siete ya fueron dados de alta, señaló el portavoz de la OMS Tarik Jasarevic. El portavoz explicó que laboratorios chinos ya secuenciaron el genoma del coronavirus y han facilitado estos datos a la comunidad sanitaria mundial para ayudar en el diagnóstico de posibles casos fuera del país.… (Continúa en facebook.com/elcomerciodecusco) 📷: CNN/Google ° ° ° #cusco #cuzco #peru #news #noticias #elcomerciodecusco #coronavirus

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Unfortunately, the outbreak comes ahead of the Chinese Lunar New Year – a typically bustling tourist season for the Asian nation. Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak, doubles as the major transport hub at this time. January 24 to 30, the main holiday season, could see a surge of tourists travelling to and fro from Wuhan, thereby increasing the threat of more cases. As a result of this premonition, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has recommended a restriction of any trade and travel in the region.

India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, too, has issued a travel advisory for China-bound travellers. The advisory states that tourists should maintain good personal hygiene, frequently wash hands with soap, wear a mask if unwell, and even follow respiratory etiquette such as covering your mouth while coughing or sneezing. Close contact with people who are unwell, and live animals should also be avoided. One should also steer clear from consuming raw or under-cooked meats, and travelling to farms and slaughterhouses.

For an added layer of precaution, passengers travelling from China to Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA), will have to undergo a thermal screening. Moreover, the airports in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco have begun screening passengers from Wuhan, whereas Singapore and Hong Kong have announced similar precautions.

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