Australian medical officials announced on Tuesday, January 21, that new health screening measures will be implemented at Sydney Airport (SYD) for direct flights arriving from China, particularly the city Wuhan. An ongoing outbreak of pneumonia caused by an unidentified coronavirus that originated in Wuhan has affected at least 218 people, including international travelers. According to officials, Border Force and biosecurity personnel will meet passengers upon arrival and provide information in English and Mandarin on the symptoms of the virus. Individuals with a fever or who believe they may have the disease will be subject to normal border security and biosecurity protocols. Authorities may also implement similar screening measures for other flights from China that pose the highest risk of spreading the virus.
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.
Travelers flying via SYD are advised to keep abreast of the situation, anticipated an increased security presence upon arrival, and obey all instructions issued by the local authorities.