The Confederation of Medical Associations of Asia and Oceania (CMAAO) has issued warnings for people travelling to China over an outbreak of mystery pneumonia. The CMAAO has said people should avoid animals and contact with sick people in China as the country grapples with the outbreak.
“The viral illness was first reported last week in Wuhan, a central Chinese city with a population of over 11 million, and has since grown to at least 59 cases, said Dr KK Aggarwal, President, CMAAO.
“Though the Chinese health officials have ruled out a resurgence of the highly contagious SARS virus, which killed hundreds more than a decade ago, one should be aware and practice usual precautions and seek medical care "right away" if they felt sick after travelling to Wuhan,” he added.
The outbreak of pneumonia comes just a few weeks before China's busiest travel season of the year, when millions of people take buses, trains and planes for Lunar New Year.
Dr Aggarwal said that on January 6, 2019, Taiwan's center for disease control also advised residents planning to travel to or near Wuhan to wear masks and avoid contact with wild animals.
He pointed out that in Hong Kong, authorities say 30 people have been hospitalised after returning from Wuhan in recent days and displaying flu-like illnesses, but none were confirmed to have contracted the mystery new strain.
“All are being treated in quarantine and no obvious evidence of human-to-human transmission has been found so far, it said Sunday,” said Dr Aggarwal.