Unless you’re on a retreat to one of the most remote beaches in the world and you left your phone at home, you’re probably aware of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. The novel 2019-nCoV virus with flu-like symptoms has travelers asking, Should I cancel my trip to Asia? Before you make that decision, you should know that it is possible to stay safe from the coronavirus on your trip to Asia or anywhere else in the world.
If you’re traveling at all during this time of uncertainty, you probably want to do everything you can to limit your chances of getting sick. Luckily, the advice on avoiding the coronavirus while traveling follows the same wisdom as staying healthy on any trip.
Coronavirus: How To Stay Safe While Traveling
According to the World Health Organization, you’ll want to stick to these tips:
- Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue. Throw tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- Avoid close contact with anyone who has fever and cough.
- If you have fever, cough, and difficulty breathing seek medical care early and share previous travel history with your health care provider.
- When visiting live markets in areas currently experiencing cases of novel coronavirus, avoid direct unprotected contact with live animals and surfaces in contact with animals.
- The consumption of raw or undercooked animal products should be avoided. Raw meat, milk or animal organs should be handled with care. Avoid cross-contamination with uncooked foods, as per good food safety practices.
Additionally, you could wear a surgical mask, especially when in high-density areas like public spaces and the airport. Airports have also been encouraging travelers and emplyees to wear gloves and use hand sanitizer. Beyond that, staying safe from the coronavirus is no different than avoiding other contagions like the flu and the common cold.
While doctors are encouraging travelers to stay hydrated, they also believe canceling travel plans due to the coronavirus may be an overreaction. Overall, people with healthy immune systems are at extremely low risk of serious illness--just don’t dive headlong into Wuhan. Not that you can anyway; yesterday, the Chinese government has closed off all access to Wuhan to prevent further spread of the virus.