Statement - Monday 27 January 2020
The University is aware of the ongoing outbreak of coronavirus originating in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, with cases confirmed in other parts of China. As is consistent with the latest FCO advice, we are advising all staff and students against travel to Hubei Province.
We will continue to closely monitor FCO, WHO and PHE advice and take measures accordingly.
Advice for students
Students should seek medical attention, via the GP or by calling 111, if they develop respiratory symptoms within 14 days of visiting Wuhan, either in China or on their return to the UK. These symptoms include –
- symptoms of a common cold
- dry cough
- sore throat
- problems breathing
- shortness of breath
- headache and body aches) should seek medical care.
If you are an international student, access to medical care is normally through your local doctor – also called a GP. You need to register in advance by visiting the doctor's surgery and completing some simple forms. All students are advised to register with a doctor straight away and not wait until they become ill.
Dr Nick Phin, Deputy Director, National Infection Service, Public Health England has advised staff and students visiting Wuhan or returning to the UK from affected areas:
“Individuals should seek medical attention if they develop respiratory symptoms within 14 days of visiting Wuhan, either in China or on their return to the UK. They should phone ahead before attending any health services and mention their recent travel to the city.”
We strongly recommend that staff and students on campus maintain good hand hygiene to prevent the infection potentially spreading, as advised by Public Health England. There is more information about preventing the spread of infection on our infectious diseases intranet page.
Although the risk in the UK is low, we recognise this can be a worrying time for you, and your friends and families abroad. If you need to talk you can contact the University’s support services. You can also talk to your Wellbeing Officer in your School/College.
Advice for travellers
Public Health England has offered advice to travellers, and additional health screening measures may be in place for anyone choosing to travel.
We recognise that students and staff members may be traveling independently, particularly at the time of the Lunar New Year festival – and we would urge you to take all sensible precautions. Travel from the affected regions into the UK is now subject to additional health checks and screening at UK borders. Students and staff experiencing persistent symptoms (similar to those of a common cold, including fever, dry cough, sore throat, problems breathing, shortness of breath, headache and body aches) should seek medical care.
In addition to the above, University staff planning business trips to other parts of China may also need to complete an assessment of risk in conjunction with their School or College.
Students from Wuhan City partners
Students from a range of partner universities in Wuhan City, Hubei Province are currently studying in Birmingham and most will have travelled to the University many months ago to commence or continue their studies. The risk of any infection in the UK is currently low. There are no new students starting at the University in January 2020 from the affected regions.