Chinese New Year (Update 1)
23 Jan 2020
Chinese New Year for 2020 officially begins on January 25th 2019, and ends on February 8th. This year is the year of the rat.
The potential health risks will vary between individuals depending on the amount of time spent in China, the areas being visited and leisure pursuits undertaken. Risk factors such as age, pre-existing health conditions and medications, pregnancy etc should be taken into account during a travel consultation.
Health professionals consulting travellers who intend to visit China should refer to the fitfortravel China country page for current advice. The travel consultation is a good opportunity to make sure that travellers are up to date with the full UK Vaccination schedule including MMR and Poliomyelitis.
Although human cases of avian influenza are rare, visitors to China should avoid exposure to wild birds and poultry, for example at markets selling live animals. fitfortravel has an avian influenza advice page which gives travellers useful information on the precautions to take prior to travelling to China and what to do if they feel unwell while overseas and on their return.
Pneumonia of Unknown Origin, Wuhan City, January 2020
An ongoing outbreak of pneumonia in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China has been linked to a newly-discovered coronavirus. This outbreak has been linked to possible exposure to infection at the South China Seafood City market in Wuhan. The market is now closed.
This is a new and rapidly evolving situation where information on cases and the virus is being gathered and assessed daily.
Travellers should check recommendations for updates on a regular basis, this should include checking the Foreign and Commonweath Officewebsite for any travel restrictions that may be in place.
Further information on the coronavirus, including precautions to take, can be found here.
Advice for Travellers
Many of the health problems experienced by travellers cannot be prevented by vaccinations and other measures need to be taken. These include food and water safety, accident prevention, care with sun exposure, avoiding insect bites and animal bites, and practicing good respiratory hygiene.
If travellers returning become unwell, particularly with respiratory symptoms, within 14 days of their return, they should call their GP or NHS 111 and report their recent travel.