On 31 December 2019, the World Health Organisation (WHO) was notified to several cases of pneumonia in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China. These reports caused initial panic with little knowledge on how it would effect people. The virus did not match any other known virus.
However, on 7 January 2020, it was confirmed by the Chinese authorities that the virus is a coronavirus, which is a family of viruses that include the common cold, and viruses such as SARS and MERS. Recovery is dependent on the strength of an individual’s immune system and several of those who have died were known to have poor health prior to infection.
As of the 27 January 2020, WHO reports 2,741 cases in China, with 5,794 suspected, 461 severe and 80 deaths. Globally, there has been 2,798 cases whereby WHO risk assessments have placed the global risk at ‘high’ and ‘very high’ in China. Cases have been reported in Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, Australia, Malaysia, Thailand, Nepal, America, Canada and France. Additionally, the report suggests human to human transmission processes are similar to that of SARS and MERS by droplets, contact and fomites. A WHO panel of 16 independent experts twice last week declined to declare an international emergency over the outbreak.
Globally, there has been 2,798 cases whereby WHO risk assessments have placed the global risk at ‘high’ and ‘very high’ in China.
There was worries that the coronavirus would spread during the Lunar new year holidays, from the 24 January, when millions of Chinese travel home to celebrate. However, the celebrations have mostly been cancelled and Wuhan and other Chinese cities are in lockdown. South Korea plans to evacuate its citizen from Wuhan this week. The leader of Hong, Carrie Lam, also announced on Tuesday the high-speed rail service between the city and mainland China would be postponed from Thursday.
A German man has tested positive for the strain of coronavirus that is sweeping across China. On Tuesday, officials said he was infected by a work colleague in what is known to be the first human transmission in Europe. Health workers are also checking 40 people that the two infected workers have been in contact, including colleagues and family members. Further to this, there has been three reported cases in France. Public Health England assesses the current risk to the UK as low.
A German man has tested positive for the strain of coronavirus that is sweeping across China.
Official advice given by the University of Nottingham for students and staff can be found here.
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