Novel coronavirus (COVID-19)
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Current status as of 25 February 2020
Queensland has had 8 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
Of the confirmed cases in Queensland:
- 5 cases were from a tour group originating in Wuhan, China
- 3 cases were from the Diamond Princess cruise ship group evacuated from Darwin for treatment in Queensland Hospitals.
For more information on these cases, please visit our Health Alerts page.
The Prime Minister announced new border control measures and travel advice on 1 February, and recommended Queenslanders familiarise themselves with this advice.
If you have been to China in the last 14 days and are feeling unwell, see a doctor immediately.
The advice below is for anyone who has travelled to China in the past 14 days, or for anyone who has been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) and is feeling well.
If you have been in, or transited through, mainland China
- You need to self-quarantine for 14 days from the date you departed mainland China.
- If you begin to feel unwell and develop a fever or shortness of breath, a cough or a respiratory illness during your period of self-quarantine you should seek immediate medical attention. Call ahead to your GP or emergency department and mention your travel history before you arrive.
- If you experience any other symptom during your period of self-quarantine you should also seek immediate medical attention. Call ahead to your GP or emergency department and mention your travel history before you arrive.
If you have been in close contact with someone who already has novel coronavirus
- You need to self-quarantine for 14 days from the last date of contact with the confirmed case.
- If you begin to feel unwell and develop a fever or shortness of breath, a cough or a respiratory illness during your period of self-quarantine you should seek immediate medical attention. Call ahead to your GP or emergency department and mention you’ve been in contact with someone with novel coronavirus infection before you arrive.
- If you experience any other symptom during your period of self-quarantine you should also seek immediate medical attention. Call ahead to your GP or emergency department and mention you’ve been in contact with someone with novel coronavirus infection before you arrive.
Read more about self-quarantine and what happens at the end of quarantine.
The COVID-19 novel coronavirus is a new strain of coronavirus affecting humans.
Some coronaviruses can cause illness similar to the common cold and others can cause more serious diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).
This novel coronavirus is still new and as such we are still learning more about it.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is leading the global response to the novel coronavirus outbreak and is working with Chinese authorities and global experts to learn more about the virus including how it affects people, how it is transmitted and what countries can do to respond.
Symptoms, diagnosis and treatment
A number of clinical symptoms have been reported in identified cases of novel coronavirus. These symptoms include:
- a cough
- sore throat
- shortness of breath.
Anyone with these symptoms who has travelled to or through mainland China in the past 14 days should see a doctor immediately. Before your appointment, please call ahead and advise of your symptoms and recent travel so that necessary precautions can be undertaken.
People with suspected novel coronavirus will be tested and may also need to have a chest x-ray.
There is no specific treatment for CVOID-19 infection. Antibiotics are not effective against viral infections. However, most of the symptoms can be treated with supportive medical care.
There is currently no vaccine for coronavirus.
The Queensland Government has added novel coronavirus to the state’s notifiable conditions list.
Protecting yourself and others from the novel coronavirus
Novel coronavirus is transmitted from person to person, usually when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Transmission may occur from contaminated surfaces, so it is important to frequently wash your hands.
To protect yourself and others from infection practice good hand and respiratory hygiene including:
- cleaning hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rubs
- covering your nose and mouth with a tissue or flexed elbow when coughing or sneezing
- avoiding contact with anyone who has symptoms such as fever, a cough, sore throat, fatigue, and shortness of breath.
- staying home if you are unwell.
Based on current advice, only people who have returned from mainland China, are unwell and have access to a face-mask should use it. For anyone else who does not have symptoms, a face-mask is not necessary.
There is no need to cancel any events or gatherings or take additional precautions to normal practice. People who are unwell should not attend public events.
- Frequently asked questions: COVID-19 novel coronavirus
- For global up-to-date information on COVID-19 novel coronavirus please visit the WHO.
- Up-to-date Australian information and resources (including fact sheets) on COVID-19 novel coronavirus can be found on the Australian Government Department of Health website.
- If you have travelled to China in the last 14 days and are unwell you can call 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) for health advice.
- Australian Government novel coronavirus resources for the general public, health professionals and industry.
Help and assistance
For further information on coronavirus, contact 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84).