Novel coronavirus: updated advice from NSW Health for General Practitioners

Novel Coronavirus 2019 – Wuhan, China – Updated advice for General Practitioners (PDF here)

  1. Consider novel coronavirus infection in patients with fever and respiratory symptoms after travel to Wuhan City in the 14 days before illness onset
  2. Isolate suspect cases in a single room with a surgical mask
  3. Report suspect cases immediately to your Public Health Unit – 1300 066 055

Situation update:

  • As of 20 January, over 200 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus 2019 (2019-nCoV) have been detected including at least three deaths. While the majority of cases have been detected in Wuhan, other cases have been reported from other parts of China as well as Japan, Thailand and South Korea. Almost all cases have reported living in or travelling to Wuhan.
  • There is increasing evidence of human-to-human transmission, based on the reporting of a number of clusters involving household contacts of confirmed cases. Recent reports have also identified cases in healthcare workers, suggesting some degree of nosocomial transmission.
  • Infection has caused severe acute respiratory illnesses in many cases, although a number of mild or
    asymptomatic cases have now been identified through screening of close contacts.

Consider 2019-nCOV infection in people with:

  • History of travel from Wuhan City, China in the 14 days before illness onset OR
    Close contact with a confirmed case of 2019-nCoV.
    Fever or history of fever and acute respiratory infection (with at least one of the following symptoms: shortness of breath, cough or sore throat).

For a patient who meets these criteria (updated advice):

  • Ask the patient to wear a surgical mask and move them to a separate room.
  • Use standard, contact and airborne transmission precautions – including a P2 (N95) mask, disposable gown, gloves, and eye protection if available – when entering the room.
  • Immediately contact your Public Health Unit 1300 066 055 who will arrange a phone risk assessment together with an ID Physician.
  • The PHU will advise on next steps. If further assessment and testing is recommended this will generally be arranged at a hospital emergency department.

Further information:  https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus