Facts To Know About Coronavirus! And How It is Effecting Travel Around the World?

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The epidemic of a new respiratory disease, which started in the Chinese city of Wuhan earlier this month, has brought a number of cities in China under control. Like SARS and MERS, this new type of coronavirus (called WN-CoV at the moment, but expect a more lively name like WuRS to emerge as coverage increases) spreads quickly through air travel international, cases already reaching Japan, Thailand, Korea and the United States, and more certain to come.

An airport staff member holds health cards for passengers at Changi International Airport in Singapore.

Authorities are working to contain the disease during the Lunar New Year travel season. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (known as the CDC) on Thursday raised its level one to three (out of three) advice, which states that Americans should avoid non-essential travel to infected areas. Meanwhile, the State Department advised those planning to travel to China to exercise increased caution.

In the UK, Public Health England says “the situation is constantly under review” and takes precautions, such as screening passengers arriving from affected areas in a separate area at Heathrow Airport. The Foreign Office has advised against all but essential travel to Wuhan. Meanwhile, Chinese authorities have restricted the movement of around 35 million people during the Lunar New Year celebrations. The World Health Organization (WHO) has called the epidemic an emergency in China and at least ten cities have been closed in Hubei Province, where Wuhan is located, to contain the disease.

Sights outside of Hubei have also been temporarily closed, such as the Disney Resort in Shanghai, the Forbidden City in Beijing, and a section of the Great Wall.

Travelers wearing masks and pushing suitcases cross the check-in hall of Hong Kong International Airport in Hong Kong.

China has started nationwide screening to fight the growing epidemic of a new respiratory virus, with hundreds of millions of people traveling during the next Lunar New Year vacation.

If you are traveling, expect the airlines to advertise the illness and urge anyone who feels bad to contact them. Flying in the event of illness is generally a bad idea, and airlines always have the right to refuse transportation to a sick passenger, but it wouldn’t surprise me if we see them doing it more for the moment.

This is likely to have a particular impact on people who are Chinese, of Chinese descent, or who appear to be Chinese. Korean-American comedian Margaret Cho did not call the response to SARS “Severe Asian Racism Syndrome” for nothing.

You Should Need To Know About Coronavirus? And When China Imposes Travel Restrictions

Don’t travel to Wuhan

The city and its province of Hubei are currently closed. Airlines have canceled hundreds of flights to and from Wuhan, leaving many passengers stranded. The government has announced plans to suspend public transport services such as buses, ferries and trains and most public places have been closed.

The epidemic of a new respiratory disease, which started in the Chinese city of Wuhan earlier this month, has brought a number of cities in China under control. Like SARS and MERS, this new type of coronavirus (called WN-CoV at the moment, but expect a brighter name like WuRS to emerge as coverage increases) spreads quickly through air travel international, cases already reaching Japan, Thailand, Korea and the United States, and more certain to come.

An airport staff member holds health cards for passengers at Changi International Airport in Singapore.

Authorities are working to contain the disease during the Lunar New Year travel season.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (known as the CDC) on Thursday raised its level one to three (out of three) advice, which states that Americans should avoid non-essential travel to infected areas. Meanwhile, the State Department advised those planning to travel to China to exercise increased caution.

So Basically What is a Coronavirus?

This is not medical advice: I am an aviation reporter, not a doctor, and you should speak to yours if you have any concerns. But for me, my travel plans are moving forward, and I would not be worried about traveling the world, with the exception of Wuhan and any other region that becomes a hotspot.

Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that include colds, SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) and MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome). What the experts are saying right now is that this new Wuhan coronavirus is spread in much the same way as the common cold.

Although a cold is rarely more than an inconvenience, new types of coronavirii can be a little more problematic.

This is not medical advice: I am an aviation reporter, not a doctor, and you should speak to yours if you have any concerns. But for me, my travel plans are moving forward, and I would not be worried about traveling the world, with the exception of Wuhan and any other region that becomes a hotspot.

Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that include colds, SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) and MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome). What the experts are saying right now is that this new Wuhan coronavirus is spread in much the same way as the common cold.

Although a cold is rarely more than an inconvenience, new types of coronavirii can be a little more problematic.

You Should Need To Know About Coronavirus? And When China Imposes Travel Restrictions

The reality is that experts say that the precautions you take against colds or flu while traveling also seem good against this new type of disease.

Take reasonable precautions when traveling, wherever you are

It is not the first outbreak of a new coronavirus and it will not be the last. Again, I’m not a doctor, but as a regular traveler, I take common sense precautions and have developed reasonable habits to avoid getting sick.

Stay away from sick people, and if you have more than a light cold and have traveled or been exposed to large groups of people (in a big city in the world, for example), maybe go to your doctor. – but definitely call first, especially if you have recently traveled to areas known to have been infected, as there are special procedures for quarantining those most at risk.

If someone coughs and stammers all over the plane near enough for you to hear, notify the crew and ask to be relocated. (Note that this may mean that the person is asked about their travel history and that your flight may be delayed so that the medical authorities can check it, so be wise and think about how you are doing it.)

I am religious enough to wash my hands (and in between, use alcohol gels) when I travel, especially on public transportation. I would consider wearing a mask on public transport and also flying, and perhaps bring a small pack of disinfectant wipes to wipe areas you may touch on an airplane.

It makes sense to avoid touching your face during and after using public transportation, the bathroom – really, after touching things that other people have touched. As a general rule, humans are not really diligent in washing their hands frequently, as everyone who has used the public toilet knows.

Since the first suggestions are that the virus could spread via a wet market (the kind of place where live animals and raw meat, seafood, and other items are sold outdoors), I Would probably avoid visiting something like this wherever I happen to be.

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