The most recent diseases caused by coronaviruses include severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).
In January 2020, officials identified a new corona virus called novel coronavirus or 2019-nCoV. Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan City, Hubei Province China is the suspected source. Signs and Symptoms of 2019-nCoV are similar to a range of other illnesses such as influenza and do not necessarily mean that you have 2019-nCoV.
• High fever
• Difficulty breathing Difficulty breathing is a sign of possible Pneumonia and requires immediate medical assessment 2019-nCoV is likely spread through:
• A cough or sneeze
• Close personal contact
• Contact with a surface or object with virus particles on it (Sneeze or cough droplets, touching your mouth, eyes or nose)
You can provide the best protection for yourselves and others by
• Thorough handwashing -> at least 20 seconds with soap and water AND thorough drying.
• Covering coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing
• Teaching sneezing and coughing technique to youngsters around you.
New Zealand currently has no border or travel restrictions in place but those who have already planned travel overseas should be in touch with their travel agents as to any entry requirement updates for other countries as this is a changing and developing global situation.
It is important if you have been travelling internationally and become unwell that you call Healthline 0800 611 116 and explain you have arrived back to New Zealand from overseas or contact Amuri Health Centre for further advice.
2019-nCoV is a Notifiable disease to the Ministry of Health and will be properly investigated and tested for if there is suspicion of disease.
It is considered best practice to isolate yourself from others as best possible and stay at home. As with any Illness that causes coughing and sneezing it is important you DO NOT enter the medical centre without prior contact with the nursing team – please contact first, and if advised you need to be assessed, wait in your car until a clinician advises otherwise.
For any further updated information see www.health.govt.nz or contact Amuri Community Health Centre 03 315 6328 for any further questions or concerns.