Novel Coronavirus

The Tasmanian Department of Health is aware of cases of a novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) associated with Hubei Province, China.

Coronaviruses are a type of virus that can affect humans and animals. Some coronaviruses cause illnesses similar to the common cold and others cause more serious illnesses, including Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

What is novel coronavirus?

There is a new coronavirus affecting people who have recently been in the area of the Hubei Province, China. Most people infected have had a link with mainland China.  There have been cases reported in other countries, including Australia. While the infection does not appear to spread easily between people, there are cases of person-to-person transmission in the community and in health care settings.

What are the symptoms of novel coronavirus?

Symptoms may include fever, cough, sore throat, and difficulty breathing. Difficulty breathing is a sign of possible pneumonia and requires immediate medical attention.

It can take up to 14 days for symptoms to show after a person has been infected.

What do I do if I have recently travelled to China and am unwell?

If you (or a family member) are unwell and have travelled to China in the last 14 days, please call our Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738 to speak with a Clinical Nurse Consultant. We will ask you questions and provide advice about next steps.

If you have severe symptoms, such as shortness of breath, you should get immediate medical help and call 000 for an ambulance. Inform the paramedics and health care professionals about your recent travel.

Health care providers wishing to discuss testing or referral of a suspected case of novel coronavirus should call our Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738 to speak with a Clinical Nurse Consultant.

What do I do if I have been in close contact with someone with confirmed novel coronavirus?

If you have been in close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with novel coronavirus, please call our Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738 to speak with a Clinical Nurse Consultant. We will ask you questions and provide advice about next steps.

What is the Tasmanian Department of Health doing to address novel coronavirus?

The Tasmanian health system is well prepared to manage infectious diseases and have systems and processes in place.

Tasmania’s Director of Public Health is providing regular updates to local GPs, hospitals and other sectors to ensure health professionals are aware of the protocols that are in place to identify and manage a case of coronavirus.

Coronavirus is a notifiable disease under the Public Health Act 1997 in Tasmania from 6 February 2020, for more information visit Guidelines for Notifying 2019 Novel Coronavirus

The Tasmanian Department of Health is working with national health authorities to ensure a consistent approach is being taken to managing the risk of coronavirus in Australia.

Where can I get more information?


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updated 27 February 2020