Australia expecting to confirm further coronavirus cases

Author
Newstalk ZB, news.com.au,
Publish Date
Mon, 27 Jan 2020, 11:31AM
Residents in Wuhan where the outbreak began. (Photo / AP)

Australia expecting to confirm further coronavirus cases

Author
Newstalk ZB, news.com.au,
Publish Date
Mon, 27 Jan 2020, 11:31AM

Another person is expected to be diagnosed with coronavirus in NSW, which could take the state’s number of cases to four.

There were five people awaiting test results to see if they have the deadly infection but four have been cleared. Three in the state have already diagnosed.

The latest person, a young Chinese woman, has tested positive but confirmation is expected tomorrow.

With a case in Victoria, the nation’s total stands at four.

The three infected men in NSW, aged 35, 43 and 53, have been isolated in hospital to prevent the virus spreading further.

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said all of them were now stable.

Two of the men had travelled to the Chinese city at the centre of the outbreak – Wuhan – while another man had travelled from the southern city of Shenzhen but had direct contact with a person from Wuhan who was diagnosed with the virus.

Mr Hazzard warned it was a moving feast in terms of the numbers of people coming forward.

Meanwhile, a man in Hobart who was tested after travelling to Wuhan has been cleared.

The man, aged in his 30s, is in Royal Hobart Hospital with “relatively mild respiratory symptoms,” Tasmania’s Director of Public Health, Dr Mark Veitch, said.

“The man travelled in China earlier this month and spent time in Hubei province and Wuhan, the city where the coronavirus outbreak began,’’ he said.

“The man has relatively mild respiratory symptoms. While coronavirus infection is not strongly suspected, tests are being done to rule out this infection.”

Dr Veitch said the man reported his symptoms to his GP.

“The GP contacted Public Health Services and a decision to test for coronavirus was made in consultation with specialist infectious disease advice,” he said.

The man in Victoria has also recently arrived on a flight from China.

NSW chief health officer Kerry Chant said anyone who had symptoms of the deadly infection should cover their coughs and sneezes with a tissue or their elbow and wash their hands thoroughly.

Symptoms include fever, cough and difficulty breathing.

Dr Chant said people shouldn’t be afraid of speaking to their doctors if they experience any coronavirus symptoms.

Mr Hazzard also urged anyone with symptoms to come forward.

“Please be aware that we do now have coronavirus here in Sydney. If you’ve got symptoms, ask yourself whether you’ve come in recent weeks from China, particularly from Wuhan,” he said on Saturday night.

Mr Hazzard said the state’s health department had done everything possible to identify and contain the virus.

Education officials in NSW have contacted schools urging them to be on the lookout for symptoms of the viral infection as school resumes this week, The Daily Telegraph reported.

Meanwhile Queensland Health has confirmed there have been no cases of the virus in that state.

 “Five people being assessed in Queensland for the Wuhan coronavirus have tested negative to the disease,” the department said.

China has confirmed 56 deaths from the virus, according to the South China Morning Post, while more than 2000 people are now estimated to have the virus worldwide.

The illness has been confirmed other countries including Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, France and the United States.

Canada has today confirmed its first case of coronavirus, with a man in his 50s being treated in hospital in Toronto after arriving on a flight from Wuhan via the Chinese city of Guangzhou.

Australians are being urged not to travel to Wuhan or China’s Hubei province.

Australia’s chief medical officer Professor Brendan Murphy said it was important for people arriving from Wuhan, and those in close contact with them, to monitor for symptoms including fever, cough, sore throat, vomiting and difficulty breathing.

“We don’t know exactly how long symptoms take to show after a person has been infected but there is an incubation period and some patients will have very mild symptoms,” Prof Murphy said.