Russian health officials have increased the number of health screenings conducted at airports nationwide as of Tuesday, January 21, due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. At least four airports have introduced the screening measures, including Sheremetyevo (SVO) and Vnukovo (VKO) airports in Moscow, and Yekaterinburg's Koltsovo Airport (SVX) and Irkutsk Airport (IKT).
Consumer health regulator Rospotrebnadzor advised Russian tourists who planned to go to China to refrain from visiting Wuhan. The regulator also stated that the possibility of the infection spreading into Russia could not be ruled out.
Fever screenings were implemented at Wuhan International Airport (WHU) to prevent the potential spread of the viral pneumonia on Wednesday, January 15, after cases linked to the outbreak in Wuhan were reported in Thailand and Japan. Individuals will be subject to temperature tests before boarding their flights and those displaying fever symptoms will be quarantined as a precaution.
Further spread of the illness is possible over the near term, particularly during the upcoming Lunar New Year holiday.
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.
Individuals who plan to travel to or have recently returned from China, particularly Hubei province, are advised to monitor the situation and anticipate additional security checks at the airport. Individuals are advised to take precautionary measures to reduce their risk of contracting the virus:
- Avoid all contact with animals (dead or alive); avoid eating animal products that are undercooked; avoid all markets where animals are sold
- Avoid all close contact with people displaying symptoms of the disease (e.g. difficulties breathing)
- Frequently wash hands, wear a face mask
- Individuals within China developing symptoms of pneumonia are advised to seek medical attention, avoid contact with other people, and wash hands regularly
- Adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments
- Travelers returning from China developing symptoms of pneumonia are advised to call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to avoid spread of the disease