Three confirmed cases of coronavirus in NSW

 

Three men in NSW have been confirmed as contracting the deadly coronavirus.

NSW Health has confirmed the men - one of which is aged in his 30s and another in his 50s - are being treated in Westmead Hospital and are in isolation.

Australia's first case of the deadly coronavirus was confirmed in Victoria on Saturday morning.

It is understood the men either came from the Wuhan province or came into contact with someone from there.

NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant said earlier today two men were being treated as probable cases in NSW, one had come from Wuhan and one had contact with someone who had the disease in Wuhan.

"Those patients were admitted in the last few days to our facilities for assessment and the test has also been sent to another lab to verify the results," Dr Chant said.

NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant at a press conference provide an update on the current status of coronavirus in NSW. Picture by Damian Shaw
NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant at a press conference provide an update on the current status of coronavirus in NSW. Picture by Damian Shaw

Neither were on the last flight from Wuhan - the epicentre of the virus - on Thursday but are believed to have arrived in Australia earlier.

"All of those cases have recently returned from China and in one case … they had had contact with a confirmed case of the disease in Wuhan."

People wearing masks due to coronavirus warnings arriving in Sydney from Shanghai this afternoon. Picture: Chris Pavlich
People wearing masks due to coronavirus warnings arriving in Sydney from Shanghai this afternoon. Picture: Chris Pavlich

Dr Chant said the two men, aged between 30 and 60, were not particularly unwell but were being kept in hospital.

"They have been admitted for isolation purposes," she said at a press conference.

Another four people are also being tested for the contagious virus in NSW.

Spectators wearing masks at the Lunar Festival celebrations, at Dixon Street Mall, Chinatown today. Picture: IMAGE/Monique Harmer
Spectators wearing masks at the Lunar Festival celebrations, at Dixon Street Mall, Chinatown today. Picture: IMAGE/Monique Harmer

Australia's first confirmed case was a Chinese national in his 50s who tested positive in Melbourne this morning.

He had been in Wuhan, the city of 11 million people that has been the epicentre of the outbreak, before catching a flight to Melbourne from Guangzhou on January 19.

Health authorities are waiting for test results for one potential coronavirus case in Queensland after five people were cleared on Saturday. Of the latest six cases, three were reported on the Gold Coast and two in Brisbane

China says the death toll has risen to 41, while more than 1000 people are now believed to have contracted the virus across 11 countries.

Symptoms of the respiratory illness include fever, cough, sore throat, vomiting and difficulty breathing.

Australia has raised the travel alert level to "do not travel" for the city of Wuhan - the epicentre of the outbreak - and for the entire Hubei province.

Workers are scrambling to build a 1000-bed field hospital in Wuhan, China, by February 3 to cope with the surge coronavirus patients in the city. Picture: Getty
Workers are scrambling to build a 1000-bed field hospital in Wuhan, China, by February 3 to cope with the surge coronavirus patients in the city. Picture: Getty

Passengers arriving on all flights from China are now being stopped and provided with health information about the virus, its symptoms and what to do if they become unwell.

Australia's Chief Medical Officer 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. Experts are still learning about the virus.

"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," Professor Murphy said.

WHAT IS THE CORONAVIRUS

The new viral respiratory illness outbreak began last month in the Chinese city of Wuhan. Scientists have identified the illness as a new kind of coronavirus. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some of which cause the common cold.

Others have evolved into more severe illnesses, such as SARS and MERS, although so far the new virus does not appear to be nearly as deadly or contagious.

Cases have now been confirmed in France, the US, South Korea, Japan, Nepal and Singapore.



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