Coronavirus is making headlines this week, with concerns that this new type of viral pneumonia spreading in China could make its way across the world.
Thailand and Japan have already reported cases of the virus and yesterday a Brisbane man was in isolation as Queensland Health authorities ran tests to uncover whether he was carrying the strain – although he has since been cleared.
For this reason, Australian airports have increased their screening of passengers arriving on planes from China.
This is particularly pertinent this month as millions of Chinese passengers are travelling for new year celebrations, making the virus more likely to spread.
The first cases of the virus emerged from Wuhan in China a few weeks ago. People with the virus usually have a fever, sometimes with respiratory symptoms.
When it comes to Australians travelling over to China, Smartraveller advises them to exercise a high degree of caution in Wuhan.
“If you have travelled to Wuhan and have developed symptoms of respiratory illness, contact your doctor. See our health section for more information”.
Travellers are still advised to exercise ‘normal safety precautions’ in China overall. You can see more information here.
The Australian Department of Health there was no need for alarm in Australia at present with Chief medical officer Brendan Murphy saying Australia has well-established procedures to ensure people with illnesses travelling into the country are detected at the border.
Airlines are already required to report passengers who show signs of infectious disease, including fever, sweats or chills, so sick travellers can be met by biosecurity officers when they arrive in Australia to be assessed.
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