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Borussia Dortmund cancel Asia summer tour amid coronavirus concerns

Borussia Dortmund have cancelled their summer tour of Asia because of coronavirus concerns.

"The safety of our squad and all BVB staff always has the highest priority," Carsten Cramer, the club's marketing executive told Sport Bild.

Following two tours of the United States in recent summers, Dortmund hoped to return to Asia ahead of the 2020-2021 season.

However, coronavirus is now taking its toll on the German side's plans.

The Dortmund marketing executive left it open whether Borussia would instead return to the U.S. in the summer.

"It's not foreseeable how things with the coronavirus will develop," Cramer added in kicker. "We will not take any unnecessary risks."

Like Dortmund, Bundesliga rivals Bayern Munich have also planned a summer tour of Asia and they said last week they would monitor the developments.

The first cases of coronavirus have been reported in Germany with public events in Berlin and Leipzig being called off.

While several matches in Italy were called off at the weekend and the Swiss leagues have stopped play until April, German football has not been affected by the coronavirus so far.

Several Bundesliga clubs have banned their players from taking selfies with fans and stadiums have stocked up on disinfectants.

Coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, is a new strain of coronavirus that has surged around the globe in recent months. The coronaviruses are a family of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more serious respiratory diseases. Flu is caused by a different virus. There is no vaccine for coronavirus, though researchers are working on one and hope to begin testing soon.

Older people, especially those with chronic illnesses such as heart or lung disease, are most at risk. The coronavirus spreads mainly through coughs and sneezes, though it also can be transferred from surfaces. The best way to prevent infection is by frequent hand-washing, cleaning surfaces with regular household sprays and wipes, and avoiding close contact with people who are sick.