The world remains on high alert as health officials across the globe deal with the coronavirus outbreak. Whether you fly commercially or prefer to travel on private jets for work, the growing epidemic is a serious cause for concern for all international passengers. Here’s everything you need to know about the coronavirus and how it’s affecting business air travel.
What is it, what are the symptoms and how does it spread?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), coronaviruses are a family of viruses that range in severity from the common cold to more serious diseases like Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The new strain was temporarily named 2019-nCoV and was first discovered on New Year’s Eve in Wuhan City on the Hubei province of China.
In general, coronavirus symptoms include fevers, coughing and shortness of breath. Certain strains like SARS can lead to severe pneumonia and possibly death. While the exact lethality of 2019-nCoV is unclear, it has already killed over 1,700 people as of Feb. 17, with more than 71,000 people infected around the world. Outside of China, there have been cases in several countries, including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan and South Korea, as well as the U.S.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the coronavirus strain likely originated from an animal host. However, officials believe it’s now passed from person to person. Infected individuals can spread the disease through the air by coughing and sneezing. In addition, it can spread through close personal contact or through contaminated objects or surfaces that others touch. Whether you are a private jet traveler or not, always wash your hands and avoid touching your mouth, nose and eyes.
How is 2019-nCov affecting business air travel?
The new coronavirus is impacting the global economy. In particular, it’s making things harder for commercial and business air travel passengers. While the CDC says the immediate health risk for the American public “is considered low,” the State Department has issued a level 4 travel advisory for China, advising against travel to the country.
Booking a private jet charter may be the best option to limit the risk of exposure during your next business trip. Additionally, major airports in the U.S. have enacted screening measures out of fear of the coronavirus spreading. Also, traveling to China through traditional means will be especially difficult as many airlines and private jet providers in the U.S. and abroad have reduced or eliminated flights to the country. Meanwhile, according to Forbes, companies like Disney, McDonald’s and Starbucks are suspending business in China. Other companies like Facebook and Microsoft are restricting employee travel to and from the country as well.