Coronavirus update

The latest advice from NSW Public Health (14/02/2020) is to consider novel coronavirus 2019 infection in patients anyone with fever or respiratory symptoms (cough, sore throat, shortness of breath) AND travel to or transit through mainland China (excluding Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan) in the 14 days before becoming ill.

People arriving in Australia after 1 February from mainland China, including transit passengers, must ISOLATE YOURSELF for 14 days after departing China, to protect others from the virus.

The updated advice also advises us to consider testing patients with flu-like symptoms who travelled to Thailand, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore or Indonesia in the 14 days before onset of illness. This recommendation is based on the volume of travel between these countries, Australia and China, and the current epidemiology of the novel coronavirus. Note that the risk in travellers in these countries is lower than that for China. There is no change to travel advice for these countries – check Smart Traveller.

It is important to CALL FIRST before attending an Emergency Department or GP if you develop flu-like symptoms (fever, shortness or breath, cough, sore throat). You should describe your symptoms and give your travel history.

If you have severe difficulty breathing, call triple zero (000) immediately and tell the call handler and the paramedics on arrival about your recent travel history.

If you have recently travelled to in Asia and have developed a fever or respiratory symptoms, use the Healthdirect Symptom Checker to help you decide what to do next. If you are unsure where or whether to seek treatment CALL THE HEALTHDIRECT HELPLINE on 1800 022 222 to speak with a registered nurse.

If you are planning to see a GP at Erskineville Doctors please CALL FIRST on 9557 2266 and let reception know you have symptoms and may be at risk of novel coronavirus because of your travel history or because you have been in contact with a confirmed case. We might ask you to wait in your car until your doctor is ready to see you. There are masks and alcohol handrub just inside the door as you enter the waiting room.

Advice to patients about home isolation:

People who have travelled in Hubei Province or had contact with a case must be quarantined at home for 14 days from last contact or date of departure.

Additionally people arriving in Australia after 1 February from mainland China, including transit passengers, must self-isolate for 14 days after departing China

These people should restrict activities outside the home, except for seeking medical care. They should not go to work, school, or public areas, and should not use public transportation or taxis until cleared by the public health unit.

P2 masks

We are unfortunately unable to provide individuals with P2 masks as we have been supplied a small amount for use for our staff caring for patients who are suspected of being infected with coronavirus.

If you have other queries about travel, school attendance, etc:

For general information on the novel coronavirus (2019-nCov) you can call the National Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080.

For the latest updates on the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), visit the Department of Health website.

DFAT has travel advice on the Minister’s website and at Smart Traveller.