Cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) have been confirmed in China. Hubei province, the centre of the outbreak, continues to report the majority of cases.
Travellers are advised to postpone all travel to Hubei province. Check your government travel advisory for additional information.
Imported cases have also been confirmed in Australia, Belgium, Cambodia, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Nepal, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, and Vietnam.
Last updated: February 14, 2020.
Coronaviruses are a large family of respiratory viruses that can cause illness in people and animals. In rare cases, coronaviruses that circulate among animals can evolve and infect humans. In turn, these infections can easily spread from person-to-person as was the case for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle-East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV).
There is currently an outbreak of a novel (new) coronavirus (COVID-19) in China. The outbreak was first reported on December 31, 2019 when cases of viral pneumonia with unknown origin were reported from Wuhan in Hubei Province.
The COVID-19 outbreak is a rapidly evolving situation and information about the virus is still emerging. Similar to other coronaviruses, COVID-19 is suspected to have come from animals.
This virus can be transmitted from person-to-person through contact with an infected person’s secretions such as a cough or sneeze. The virus can also be spread by touching a surface that has come into contact with an infected person and then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes.
Symptoms include pneumonia-like symptoms including cough, fever, fatigue, difficulty breathing and shortness of breath. Those with a weakened immune system such as children, the elderly, and those with a pre-existing illness, appear to be more prone to severe forms of the illness. It is believed that symptoms appear within 2 days to 14 days after exposure. If you develop any respiratory infection symptoms within or shortly after 14 days of travel to China:
Take the following steps to reduce your risk of respiratory infections:
If you are healthy, you only need to wear a mask when taking care of someone who is sick. You should wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing, or have suspected COVID-19 infection.
Before putting on the mask and while wearing it, make sure to wash your hands thoroughly and frequently, and avoid touching your face. Dispose of the mask immediately after use.
For additional guidance, check out: When and how to use masks.
Information last updated: February 14, 2020