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Novel Coronavirus alert

On 31 December 2019, WHO was informed by the People’s Republic of China of cases of pneumonia of unknown microbial aetiology associated with Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. Some but not all cases were associated with Wuhan South China Seafood City market, which sells meat, poultry, seafood and live animals.

At the last report to WHO on 03 January 2020, there were 44 cases of which 11 were reported as severely ill. A Wuhan Municipal Health Commission update on 05 January reported 59 cases, including 7 critically ill patients, with no deaths. The first case became unwell on 12 December 2019 and the onset date of the last case was 29 December 2019.

On 9 January 2020, WHO reported that Chinese authorities had made a preliminary identification of a novel coronavirus from a patient hospitalised with pneumonia in Wuhan. Chinese investigators conducted sequencing of the viral genome.

Reports to date describe no evidence of significant human to human transmission, including no infections of healthcare workers.

Currently there are no known UK cases and no cases reported in countries other than China. Cases of respiratory infection in travellers from Wuhan City to Hong Kong have been assessed and the majority have been reported to have conventional respiratory pathogens; no cases of novel coronavirus have been reported from Hong Kong. Increased travel to and from China is expected around Chinese New Year on 25 January 2020. There are direct flights from Wuhan City to London. No travel restrictions are advised.

This is an evolving situation and further updates will be provided. Please check for the latest information and guidance from PHE at:



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