A recent outbreak of the coronavirus is shrouded in panic and fear, as news spreads of the disastrous situation in China and now reports of the disease mounting globally has received prominent news coverage.
The problem remains critical in China, where travelling for Chinese New Year over the weekend left the containing of the outbreak increasingly difficult.
It is reported in the BBC that the death toll from the newly-discovered virus in China has now risen to 41 on the day of the Lunar New Year.
This is following an announcement of a further 15 deaths in the Hubei province, where the outbreak began, last week.
Australia has confirmed several cases in Melbourne and Sydney, whilst in Europe, France has confirmed three cases.
It has been reported by news outlets that there are around 800 cases confirmed world-wide, though numbers remain varied in reporting.
With Public Health England confirming that cases of the virus in the UK are “highly likely”, fourteen people in the UK have been tested.
All of those tested have reportedly travelled to Wuhan – where the virus originated – in the past two weeks.
Three people in Edinburgh and two in Glasgow were being treated for the virus, all of whom have now been given the all-clear, thus there are no confirmed cases of the virus in Edinburgh yet.
The coronavirus causes severe respiratory infection; symptoms include fever and a cough. There is no specific cure or vaccine at the moment.
It also appears those particularly vulnerable are older people and those with pre-existing medical conditions. Roughly a quarter of cases are thought to be classed as severe.
On Thursday, all university students received an email from Deputy Secretary, Student Experience giving an update regarding the coronavirus,
“The University has been closely monitoring the situation and liaising with government and NHS agencies to get their latest advice.
“It is important to stress that, based on the latest advice, the risk to people in the UK is low.
“However, anyone who has recently travelled to Wuhan or elsewhere in China and becomes unwell within 14 days of that visit, particularly with respiratory symptoms, should seek medical attention.”
The email also advised that all staff planning to travel to China should complete a travel risk assessment and that the University Health and Safety website will continue to be updated with information.
The FCO is currently advising against all but essential travel to Wuhan.
Image Credit: via Wikipedia