What is the 2019 novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)?

Last Update 06/04/2021

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).

What is 2019-nCoV?

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more serious diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).

The 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a new strain that has not been seen in humans until now, and has caused viral pneumonia. It was first linked to Wuhan’s South China Seafood City market which is a wholesale market for seafood and live animals.

The virus has now been detected in several areas throughout China, along with countries across Asia, North America, Europe and Oceana with over 17,300 cases worldwide. 

The World Health Organisation (WHO) advises that 2019-nCoV symptoms include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.

There is currently no vaccination for 2019-nCoV as it is such a new virus. Regular hand washing, covering the mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, and thoroughly cooking meat and eggs is recommended to prevent the spread of 2019-nCoV.

ELF and ERS are working to provide updates on this matter as they arise.

Should I be worried about travelling?

Due to the changing nature of travel restrictions, please refer to the World Health Organsiation for updates.

As symptoms include fever and difficulty breathing, you are advised to speak with a doctor and to make them aware of your travel history if you experience these during or after travel.

Exit screening at international airports and ports in the affected areas may take place to prevent the disease from spreading.

Related Links:

World Health Organisation  and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control

For healthcare professionals see the ERS summary

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