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29 January 2020
If you have recently travelled, or been in contact with persons who have been in Wuhan or other parts of China and are coming to hospital for an admission or procedure, please alert staff immediately on your arrival.
What are Coronaviruses?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are known to cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). In late 2019, a new strain of coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans was identified in China – it is called the 2019-nCoV virus.
How is it spread?
Coronavirus experts think that it’s likely that the novel coronavirus originated in an animal species, and then spread to humans.
Person to person spread of the novel coronavirus is reported as occurring, but it is not yet understood how easily this happens.
Other human coronavirus strains are spread from person to person through contaminated droplets from a person who is sick with the illness (eg: through coughing or sneezing) or contaminated hard surfaces or hands.
What are the symptoms?
The most common symptom is a fever. Other symptoms include: a cough, sore throat and shortness of breath. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia with severe acute respiratory distress.
I have symptoms. What should I do to protect myself and my family?
If you have travelled to Wuhan or China in the past 14 days and have a fever and respiratory signs and symptoms, please call ahead and book in to see a doctor. Tell your doctor when you call that you have been in Wuhan or another part of China. If available, wear a surgical mask.
Practice good hygiene by covering your coughs and sneezes and wash your hands thoroughly, for at least 20 seconds with soap and water.