What are the symptoms travellers should be aware of?
The novel coronavirus is presenting in a manner very similar to other common human coronaviruses, including the common cold. Symptoms may include runny nose, cough, fever, sore throat, headache and may progress to pneumonia or bronchitis with shortness of breath and easy fatigability. Those at high risk of developing complications include people with underlying chronic conditions, immune-compromised individuals, as well as those in extreme age groups (e.g. infants or the elderly). All travellers who have returned from Hubei Province [where the virus reportedly originated) after Dec. 1, 2019, should seek treatment immediately if they: 1) have any respiratory symptoms or fever since their return, or 2) were in contact with any infected or unwell person during their travel.
What are the recommended precautions and scenarios to avoid for travellers?
According to Health Canada, the risk to Canadian travellers to China is assessed as high. The Government of Canada recommends avoiding all non-essential travel to China, and all travel to Hubei Province, China, including Wuhan city.
What are the potential implications for global travellers outside of China and the rest of Asia?
The situation around this outbreak remains extremely fluid, but for now—outside of planned travel to China proper—most travellers don’t need to do anything differently than what they already should be doing. In short, travellers should take the basic health precautions, consult with their personal physicians, review the WHO and Health Canada websites for updated information and proceed with their plans.