Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Update

The novel corona virus (2019-nCoV) has symptoms similar to a range of illnesses such as influenza and may include fever, coughing and difficulty breathing – but these symptoms do not necessarily mean someone has the virus.

Information if you are concerned

Within the 14 days prior to onset of symptoms (above), have you:

  • Travelled to the Hubei province (particularly Wuhan) in China OR                  
  • Had close contact with a person with confirmed infection of novel Coronavirus?

‘Close contact’ is defined as:

  • direct contact with the case or their body fluids or their laboratory specimens, or in the same room of a health care setting when an aerosol generating procedure is undertaken on the case, without appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • living in the same household or household-like setting (e.g. in a hostel) as a 2019-nCoV patient
  • A person who spent two hours or longer in the same room (such as a general practice or ED waiting room)
  • Those seated within 2 rows either side of a symptomatic case on a flight, bus or train for two hours or longer
  • Face-to-face (within 1 metre) contact for more than 15 minutes with the case in any other setting not listed above

If you have answered yes to any of the above please contact Healthline (for free) on 0800 611 116.

Advice for recent travellers

People who have been to the Hubei province (particularly Wuhan) in China should remain in their own home and avoid places like child care, schools, aged residential care, hospitals and public gatherings for 14 days following return from China. If you become unwell, please contact Healthline (for free) on 0800 611 116.

Where to go for further information

The situation throughout the world is changing daily and the Ministry of Health is working to keep the health sector and the public up to date as these changes occur.

You can ring Healthline (for free) on 0800 611 116 or you can visit the Ministry of Health’s website at more information on 2019-nCoV

Looking after your own health

The most important way to stop the spread of infections:

  • Regularly wash your hands (for at least 20 seconds with warm water and soap and dry thoroughly)
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze
  • Stay home if you’re sick
  • Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms
  • If you do feel unwell you should avoid public gatherings and events
  • On current advice, hand and cough hygiene are more effective than masks for reducing the spread of novel Coronavirus.

The above is the recent advice from the Ministry of Health.

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