Last Updated 30 January 2020
The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is asking health professionals across the sector to watch out for signs and symptoms of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) infection in patients who may have travelled to areas affected by an emerging outbreak.
Queensland has confirmed its first case of novel coronavirus.
A 44 year old Chinese national, who is currently isolated in the Gold Coast University Hospital, has been confirmed to have novel coronavirus.
The man, who is from the city of Wuhan (Hubei Province), is stable.
More information will be provided soon.
Additional advice for anyone who has travelled to China in the past 14 days
- Contacts of any confirmed novel coronavirus case must self-isolate for 14 days following exposure.
- Returned travellers who have visited Hubei Province of China need to self-isolate for 14 days after leaving Hubei Province.
Childcare, school and TAFE students:
- Returned travellers who have visited China, including Hong Kong, should not attend school, childcare or TAFE for 14 days after leaving China, including Hong Kong.
- This includes students, teachers and anyone who works or attends these facilities.
- Self-isolation means staying at home and not accepting visitors.
This is a precautionary measure following brand new advice around the timeframe that people may be contagious before showing symptoms.
The novel coronavirus (also called 2019-nCoV) is a new strain of coronavirus affecting humans.
Some coronaviruses can cause illness similar to the common cold and others can cause more serious diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).
This novel coronavirus is still new and as such we are still learning more about it.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is leading the global response to the novel coronavirus outbreak and is working with Chinese authorities and global experts to learn more about the virus including how it affects people, how it is transmitted and what countries can do to respond.
Symptoms, diagnosis and treatment
A number of clinical symptoms have been reported in identified cases of novel coronavirus. These symptoms include:
- Flu-like symptoms such as a cough, sore throat or headache
- Difficulty breathing.
Anyone with these symptoms who has travelled to or through China in the past 14 days should visit a GP immediately. Please call ahead and advise of your symptoms and recent travel before your appointment so the clinic can take necessary precautions.
There is no specific treatment for 2019-nCoV infection. Antibiotics are not effective against viral infections. However, most of the symptoms can be treated with supportive medical care.
There is currently no vaccine for coronavirus.
Protecting yourself and others from the novel coronavirus
To protect yourself and others from infection practice good hand and respiratory hygiene including:
- Cleaning hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rubs
- Covering your nose and mouth with a tissue or flexed elbow when coughing or sneezing
- Avoiding contact with anyone who has flu-like symptoms
- Avoiding unprotected contact with live wild or farm animals.
For global up-to-date information on Coronavirus please visit the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Australian information and resources (including fact sheets) on Novel Coronavirus can be found on the Australian Government Department of Health website and the Queensland Health website.
Up to date information and links can also be accessed via the RACGP website.
If you have travelled to China in the last 14 days and are unwell you can call 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) for health advice.
Help and assistance:
For further information on coronavirus, contact 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84).
For more information please contact the Communicable Disease Prevention and Control section at the Department of Health and Human Services on 1300 651 160 (24 hours).
Healthdirect Australia is working closely with the Commonwealth, State and Territory Health Departments to ensure our information and advice is regularly updated.
- Specific information on the new 2019-nCoV coronavirus, including symptoms, spread, rate of infection, diagnosis and treatment.
- healthdirect blog “FAQs about the Wuhan novel coronavirus (2019-nDoV) outbreak” – can be shared on your social media, will be updated as required.
- healthdirect Symptom Checker guides you to the appropriate healthcare action, updated with information on novel coronavirus. Also available on the healthdirect app.
The following helplines are also available:
- Call the Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080 for people with questions regarding prevention and the spread of coronavirus.
- Call the healthdirect helpline on 1800 022 222 to speak to a registered nurse who can provide advice when you're not sure what to do — whether you should see a local GP, manage the condition at home, or go to an emergency department, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Click below for latest communications sent by WQPHN: