Tuesday, January 21, 11:21 p.m. Beijing time: We are aware of and are actively monitoring an outbreak of pneumonia originating in Wuhan, Hubei Province, preliminary identified as caused by a novel coronavirus. This coronavirus is similar to previous MERS and SARS infections. According to Chinese state media, as of 10:30 p.m. Beijing time on January 21, 314 cases of novel coronavirus-caused pneumonia have been confirmed in China, with six people dead and four cases confirmed abroad. While many of the cases are in Hubei Province, infected individuals have spread to Beijing, Shanghai, Guangdong Province and Sichuan Province among others. A seafood and live animal market in Wuhan is believed to be the center of the outbreak, however there is evidence of limited human-to-human transition. Cases could spike as more patients are discovered and as Spring Festival travel could cause increased transmission throughout the country. Common signs of infection include fever, cough and breathing difficulties. Currently, travelers are urged to avoid all travel to the Wuhan area and take personal hygiene precautions such as washing hands and minimizing contact with birds and live animals. The spread of the virus is currently under investigation and we will continue to monitor both Chinese and Western media, issuing travel alerts should a larger number of cases be concentrated in a specific area. Travelers are urged to follow the following websites for more information.
This alert will be updated following the results of a WHO meeting on Wednesday, January 22.