Wuhan virus outbreak: How to travel safely amid the coronavirus epidemic

Wuhan virus outbreak: How to travel safely amid the coronavirus epidemic

This is not a drill

Text: Natasha Khoury

Erupting just days before the upcoming Chinese New Year festivities, an odd yet deadly pneumonia outbreak has spread in China. Transmitted via human to human contact, this virus comes from the coronavirus which is linked to — wait for it — the terrifying SARS epidemic. Before you scramble to find solace in a sterilised shelter, it has been reported that it may not be as deadly as some other strains of coronavirus. But considering that the virus has spread beyond China (including known cases in Thailand, Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea) with no foreseeable cure or vaccine in sight, it is vital that pre-emptive steps are taken. So before you finalise your travel itinerary plans to Asia in a bid to secure a much-needed CNY holiday break or any following vacations after — consider the following steps we've assembled. May health and prosperity be on your side this Lunar New Year.

Places to avoid that have been affected

With many preparing to travel home to China or go directly abroad in preparation for the upcoming celebrations, fears of virus escalation have taken over the news. And with reports coming out about the infection spreading amongst the most popular cities to visit in China, notably Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, there's good reason to be worried.

This information on top of details emerging that the first known case was in the city of Wuhan — it is safe to say that going for a vacation to China may not the brightest idea at the moment. Although cancelling your plans to China until further notice may sound like a gruelling task, we think it is probably best for you and your loved ones to hold off until further notice. Why you ask? Well, experts have stated that there could be many cases going undetected and with medics roaming around the airports scanning passengers on flights from China, you're much better off not getting involved.

Wuhan virus outbreak: How to travel safely amid the coronavirus epidemic (фото 1)

Health warnings officials have issued

Debating on whether or not to declare an international public health emergency, the World Heath Organisation (WHO) is planning on treating this outbreak in the same manner as swine flu (H1N1) and Ebola. This will then initiate interrelated international response in a fight to minimise world-wide contamination. In the meantime, to avoid further transmission, WHO has charitably advised people to avoid exposed contact with live animals, to cook meat and eggs entirely and steer clear of close contact with people that have symptoms resembling a flu —  even you lovebirds.

CDB (Centres for Disease Control and Prevention) mirrored this sentiment stating that travellers to Wuhan, China, should avoid animal markets and contact with sick people. The Health Ministry further echoed the importance of abstaining contact with animals either dead or alive. Now what is the root cause of these warnings? Beliefs have been circulating around that this mysterious virus originated at a fresh food market in Wuhan and was transmitted through exotic animal market produce.

Wuhan virus outbreak: How to travel safely amid the coronavirus epidemic (фото 2)