Unsurprisingly, many travellers are concerned about or even frightened by the recent outbreak of coronavirus. Indeed, it may well be what brought you to this article.
What is coronavirus? COVID-19 is an illness caused by the coronavirus, which causes respiratory problems. Symptoms usually begin presenting with a high fever or temperature, followed by coughing, shortness of breath and fatigue.
Some people may only experience a mild form of COVID-19, exhibiting cold-like symptoms like a chesty cough or even a runny nose. (It's worth noting that if you have these symptoms, that doesn't necessarily mean you have coronavirus).
In the most severe cases, the virus can cause difficulty breathing and ultimately result in organ failure, though this is only in the most extreme cases. Often, fatal cases of COVID-19 occur in older patients, or sufferers who have an existing health condition.
Where is it found? As of 2 March 2020, COVID-19 is currently present on every continent on Earth, except for Antarctica. It is expected to hit 90,000 cases worldwide in the near future.
The outbreak began in China, where the UK Foreign Office currently advises against travelling, though reports suggest that the numbers of new cases in China are starting to slow down. Outbreaks continue to spread through Iran, South Korea, northern Italy, and many other countries around the world. There have been 40 cases confirmed in the UK.
If you're due to travel to an affected area, seek guidance from the UK Foreign Office, your tour operator and your travel insurance provider before travelling. The NHS currently advises travellers to the above countries and many Asian countries to seek medical advice on their return by calling their country's coronavirus hotline.
And anyone who fears they may have caught COVID-19 is advised to contact their doctor by telephone, and self-isolate for up to two weeks if instructed by a medical professional.