Undiagnosed Respiratory Illness Causes Concern in China

There are media reports of an outbreak of a serious unidentified viral respiratory illness in the city of Wuhan. A total of 27 people (most of whom are stallholders at the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market) acquired this illness and seven are in serious condition. There are concerns that this illness may have been transmitted from animals that are sold in this market which has been closed. Laboratory tests are underway to try to identify the cause of this illness.


Without knowing what is causing this respiratory illness, it is difficult to assess the risk for the general traveller. As a precautionary measure, and in the absence of laboratory identification of the causative organism, a traveller should avoid visiting the area where this market is located.