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Coronavirus: University of Essex 'in close contact' with Public Health England

PUBLISHED: 10:59 27 January 2020 | UPDATED: 12:01 31 January 2020

No cases have been confirmed in the UK, but the threat level of the virus was increased by the Health Secretary on January 24, from 'very low' to 'low' Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

No cases have been confirmed in the UK, but the threat level of the virus was increased by the Health Secretary on January 24, from 'very low' to 'low' Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

GOOGLE MAPS

The University of Essex is "in close contact" with the government's health department amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Coronavirus, first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year, is a virus that causes respiratory problems and causes pneumonia.

So far 26 people have died in China as a result of the virus, with more than 800 confirmed cases in the country.

The University of Essex has a large international student population, with hundreds of their UK-based students coming from China and offices in Beijing and Shanghai.

A University spokesperson said: "We are in close contact with Public Health England (PHE).

"We are sharing information and advice provided by PHE with our university community."

Flights from China are now under "enhanced monitoring" by PHE amid fears it could spread as millions of journeys are made globally in preparation for Lunar New Year celebrations on January 25.

What do we know about the virus so far?

While coronavirus strains are common, this form of the virus (Wuhan Novel coronavirus) was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan late in 2019.

Cases have also been detected in Thailand, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Singapore and the USA.

No confirmed cases of this strain of coronavirus have been detected in the UK, but the threat level of the virus was raised from 'very low' to 'low' by the Health Secretary on January 24 due to its ability to be transmitted between people.

In the UK, 14 people have been tested for the virus, all of which were negative.

Typical symptoms of coronavirus include fever and a cough, but could also cause shortness of breath, breathing difficulties and progress to severe pneumonia.

Generally coronavirus can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.

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