THE universities in York have told The Press they are taking precautions to offer advice after the potential outbreak of coronavirus in the UK.

The University of York and York St John Universities have explained that they are offering advice to staff and students to avoid catching the virus.

Matt Bellew, health and safety adviser at York St John University, said: "With Chinese New Year approaching, we are conscious that anyone planning travel to or from China needs access to information and advice about the corona virus outbreak.

"Although the risk to UK travellers is low, we have asked all students and staff to pay close attention to advice and updates from the Foreign Office and travel health websites."

A spokeperson for the University of York said: "We are providing advice to staff and students in accordance with Public Health England and Foreign Office guidelines."

Meanwhile, York councillor, Martin Rowley, said: “Whenever an outbreak of any virus occurs, people are naturally concerned for their own wellbeing.

"We are very keen to ensure that the council addresses the risks to our residents and takes advice from Public Health England.”

Fourteen people have now been tested for the virus in the UK. Five of the results have comeback negative, while nine are still awaiting their results.

It has been confirmed in China that there have been 26 deaths as a result of the virus, while the number of confirmed cases has now risen to around 830.

Ten cities are on lockdown, including Wuhan, where the illness has been concentrated, and nine of its neighbours in central China’s Hubei province.

China are now in the process of building a hospital dedicated to treating patients infected.

The Wuhan government said it is building the designated hospital with space for 1,000 beds in the style of a facility that Beijing constructed during the Sars epidemic.

Initial symptoms of the virus can mirror those of the cold and flu, including cough, fever, chest tightening and shortness of breath, but can worsen to pneumonia.