Since the turn of the year, there have been several cases of Novel Coronavirus confirmed in China and these have now spread to other nearby countries, including Japan, Thailand and South Korea. At the time of writing, there have been over 200 confirmed cases, and at least 4 deaths.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, including the common cold, SARS and MERS. They are usually spread to humans from infected animals and reports indicate that most recent cases can be traced to Wuhan South China Seafood City (also called the South China Seafood Wholesale Market and the Hua Nan Seafood Market) in the city of Wuhan, China. Several cases have been reported however with no immediately evident link to the market, leading some experts to believe that human-to-human transmission is occurring.

Further information can be found on:

The WHO website –

The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) site –

At this stage, there is no advice from the FCO or World Health Organisation (WHO) against travel and the CDC suggests the risk to the (American) public is low.

UMAL continues to monitor the situation and suggests that travel to China be suitably risk assessed in light of this outbreak. Anyone returning from China or other affected countries should be monitored for symptoms of the virus. If a traveller suffers symptoms whilst overseas, they should contact Global Response for immediate advice and assistance.