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January 26, 2020 11:22 am

As New Virus Spreads, Israel Issues Travel Warning for Wuhan, China

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Chinese travelers wear masks as a precaution against infection. Photo: David Woo via Flickr. – Israel’s Health Ministry on Friday issued a travel warning for Wuhan, China and surrounding areas, following the death of 55 people in China and some 2,000 globally from a new virus.

According to information pieced together by the World Health Organization and Chinese health authorities, the Novel coronavirus, also known as 2019-nCoV, Chinese Acute Respiratory Syndrome (CARS) or Wuhan coronavirus , likely started from an animal source and spread to humans in a market in Wuhan, the capital city of China’s central Hubei province.

Israelis were advised to avoid travel to the region unless “absolutely critical,” while the ministry stated that it was in contact “with all the international bodies and experts in Israel and abroad,” and promised that “the public will be continuously updated on developments.”

There is no known vaccine for 2019-nCov, whose symptoms include fever, fatigue, dry cough, shortness of breath, respiratory distress, pneumonia, kidney failure and, in severe cases, death.

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To prevent the spread of the virus, China announced on Friday that it is building a 1,000-bed hospital to treat infected patients. Entertainment venues and public transportation were shut down in Wuhan and 12 neighboring cities, including train stations, subways and the airport. Public events and tourist attractions in Beijing were also canceled out of precaution.

On Saturday, several Israelis returning from China were hospitalized at the Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer, with suspected coronavirus infection, but were later cleared.

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