Wuhan Novel Coronavirus

Wuhan Novel Coronavirus

A coronavirus is a type of virus, as a group they are common across the world.

Typical symptoms of coronavirus include fever and a cough that may progress to a severe pneumonia, causing shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. The coronavirus can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems (including older people and those with chronic conditions like diabetes or cancer).

The Wuhan Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new strain of coronavirus first identified in Wuhan City, China. No cases of Wuhan coronavirus have been detected in Gibraltar at present, and we currently consider the risk to our population to be low. We are however, ensuring there are sufficient procedures and equipment in place to isolate any cases and prevent further spread if /when the virus arrives.

On Thursday 30th January 2020, the World Health Organisation declared the Wuhan Coronavirus a global health emergency.This definition is used to describe serious unusual,or unexpected health events.  Only 5 such emergencies have been declared in the past decade.

For the latest updates on the Wuhan virus, click here.

For Frequently Asked Questions, click here.

Can we stop the virus coming to the Gibraltar?

No system of checks can offer absolute protection because of the incubation period of the virus. Some people might only show symptoms 11-12 days after exposure to an infected person. Our screening procedure at present is as follows:

Wuhan screening method Gibraltar

If someone is critically ill, as always, call for an ambulance immediately on 190.

Read more on topics of interest:


Best Prevention

Methods to ensure you stay healthy and prevent the spread of infection include:

  • Frequent hand-washing

This remains the simplest, cheapest and most effective way to prevent the spread of infection. You should clean your hands:

• After blowing your nose, sneezing or coughing

• After visiting the toilet or changing a nappy

• Before eating, drinking and handling food

• If your hands are dirty.

You can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available, but remember this will only work on visibly clean hands.

1) CATCH them; germs spread easily, so carry and use tissues to catch your cough or sneeze.

2) BIN them; germs can live for several hours on tissues so bin them as soon as you are able.

3) KILL them; hands can transfer germs to any surface you touch so ensure you keep them clean.


Best prevention also includes:

  • Disinfecting surfaces that may be contaminated.
  • Being aware of when you are ill, seeking advice when you need to, but ensure you call before visiting areas where others are sick and have lowered immunity.
  • Getting your free flu jab

Over 500 consultations took place in the PCC for upper respiratory symptoms in a two week period at the beginning of the year. Ensure you get the flu vaccine to help prevent flu associated complications, potential hospitalisations and the spread to others.

  • Ensuring you are Smoke Free

Quitting smoking, and avoiding second-hand smoke, is one of the single best interventions you can use to improve your health. Early studies into the 2019-nCoV indicate a relationship between smokers infected with the virus and poorer health outcomes. If you are a current smoker, make the decision to quit today.