The Australian Government is now advising all travellers to “reconsider” their trips to China due to the outbreak of a new strain of coronavirus, which has already killed 106 people in the nation and led to more than 4,500 infections worldwide.

The official SmartTraveller site now warns potential travellers they may be “quarantined, due to their health condition or previous location,” and urges visitors to avoid the Hubei province entirely.

The warning comes days after Hubei, thought to be the epicentre of the viral outbreak, was placed under strict lockdown conditions by the Chinese government.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports at least 400 Australians trapped in the province have requested consular assistance. Australian officials are slated to arrive as early as today in order to get ’em out of the region.

The volatility of the situation is worth avoiding, SmartTraveller states.

“Chinese authorities have restricted travel for parts of the country and may extend these restrictions at short notice,” the website reads.

In a statement, Foreign Minister Marise Payne this morning urged anyone with the symptoms of respiratory illness to contact their doctor.

Five people have tested positive to the virus in Australia. NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard advised NSW families who’ve recently returned from China to keep their children home from school as a precautionary measure.

German officials yesterday said they had identified the first human-to-human transmission of the virus, saying a man had been infected by a colleague who had recently travelled from China. Citing German health officials, The Guardian reports the 33-year-old man “was doing well”.

While there is serious cause for concern regarding the virus, NSW Health was yesterday forced to strike down flawed statements circulating online.

“This post has not originated from NSW Health or any related entity. Further, there is no such entity as the “Department of Diseasology Parramatta””, the statement read.

So, all up: if you’re going to get your advice on this virus online, you’re best off looking to the official government outlets for information, not some crook local Facebook group.

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