article poster

Novel Coronavirus - what you need to know

Health authorities have identified cases of novel coronavirus in Australia in January 2020.

The novel coronavirus originated in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. The majority of cases are there however health authorities have also identified novel coronavirus cases in several other countries including Australia.

Currently in Australia, people most at risk of contracting the virus are people who have:

  • been in mainland China recently
  • been in close contact with someone who is has a confirmed case of coronavirus

Symptoms of novel coronavirus

Symptoms can range from mild illness to pneumonia. Some people will recover easily, and others may get very sick very quickly. Affected people may experience:

  • fever
  • flu like symptoms such as coughing, sore throat and fatigue
  • shortness of breath

What to do if you become unwell

If you become unwell and suspect you may have symptoms of coronavirus, you must seek medical attention. Please ring ahead of time to book your appointment. This will help make your doctor aware of your symptoms and your travel history or recent contact. Call 000 if you need urgent medical help.

Protecting yourself and others from the novel coronavirus

  • If you have travelled from Hubei Province within the past 14 days, you must isolate yourself until 14 days have elapsed after leaving Hubei Province.
  • If you have left, or transited through, mainland China on or after 1 February 2020 you must isolate yourself until 14 days after leaving China.
  • If you have been in close contact with a confirmed case of novel coronavirus, you must isolate yourself for 14 days after last contact with the confirmed case.

Like most viruses, the best protection is to maintain good hand hygiene and safe food practices.

  • Avoid touching your face and mouth until you have washed your hands
  • Avoid contact with someone who is showing signs of a respiratory illness like coughing and sneezing
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or flexed elbow when coughing or sneezing
  • Staying home if you are unwell.

For more information

The National Coronavirus Health Information Line is now live on 1800 020 080, providing public health and situation information. The line will refer requests for medical advice to registered nurses on healthdirect – 1800 022 222.

Image credit: