In late December 2019, the People’s Republic of China reported an outbreak of pneumonia due to unknown cause in Wuhan City, Hubei Province.
In early January 2020, the cause of the outbreak was identified as a new coronavirus, named novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). While early cases were likely infected by an animal source in a ‘wet market’ in Wuhan, ongoing human-to-human transmission is now occurring.
There are a number of coronaviruses that are transmitted from human-to-human which are not of public health concern. However the 2019-nCoV can cause respiratory illness of varying severity. Currently, there is no vaccine and no specific treatment for infection with the virus.
On the 30 January 2020 the World Health Organization declared that the outbreak of 2019-nCoV constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.
The collection of resources on this page contains information and advice on novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).
Advice for returning travellers
If you have returned from China within the last 14 days, please go to NHS Inform website for the most up-to-date information and advice.
If our understanding of 2019-nCoV changes then guidance will be updated. Always check this website to ensure that any guidance you are using is the latest version.
Guidance for use in Scotland
- 2019-nCoV – initial investigation of possible cases, includes the following guidance documents:
- Guidance for Health Protection Teams (HPTs) (last updated 2 February 2020)
- Guidance for primary care (last updated 2 February 2020)
- Guidance for secondary care (last updated 2 February 2020)
- Guidance for sampling and laboratory investigations (last updated 2 February 2020)
- HPS avian flu guidance, includes the following guidance documents:
- Investigation and management of possible human cases of Avian Influenza A/H5N1, in returning travellers (last updated 10 April 2015)
- Investigation and management of possible human cases of avian influenza A/H7N9, in returning travellers (last updated 19 February 2015)
- Infection control advice for severe respiratory illness from novel or emerging pathogens (last updated 31 January 2020)
- Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) - risk areas (last updated 31 January 2020)
Guidance for travellers
For the general public who are planning to travel abroad, guidance can be found on fitfortravel. Where a 2019-nCoV risk is identified then country pages will be updated.
For health professionals who are advising travellers, guidance can be found on TRAVAX. Where a 2019-nCoV risk is identified then country pages will contain updated guidance.