South Africa’s Department of Health said on Thursday port health authorities have enhanced surveillance for all travellers from Asia, especially China, following an outbreak of coronavirus in the country.

Johannesburg’s OR Tambo Airport is the only port of entry for direct flights from Asia, it added, saying the measures had been put in place due to the current risk that the virus could be imported to South Africa.

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What you need to know about the virus

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause respiratory illnesses such as the common cold, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Most people get infected with coronaviruses at one point in their lives, but symptoms are typically mild to moderate. In some cases, the viruses can cause lower-respiratory tract illnesses such as pneumonia and bronchitis.

These viruses are common amongst animals worldwide, but only a handful of them are known to affect humans. Rarely, coronaviruses can evolve and spread from animals to humans. This is what happened with the coronaviruses known as the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-Cov), both of which are known to cause more severe symptoms. – Sourced Livescience.com