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Novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

If you have health-related concerns about novel coronavirus (COVID-19), call the dedicated 0800 number: 0800 358 5453. The line is staffed by nurses, paramedics and health advisors. Interpreters are available.

Travellers who have been to mainland China in the last 14 days should read the Ministry of Health's advice on self-isolation.

The spread of COVID-19, originating in Wuhan City, China, is being closely monitored by Auckland Regional Public Health Service and the Ministry of Health.

The virus can cause acute respiratory infection ranging from mild to severe. Most of the infected people have had mild to moderate illness.

Anyone with fever or difficulty breathing, and who, in the last two weeks has been –

  • to mainland China or
  • in close contact with someone diagnosed with the novel coronavirus

should call their doctor before visiting and tell them their risk from travel or exposure to someone with COVID-19.

The Ministry of Health provides updated information on its website daily and is available in other languages:

 

For the public

Cases and contacts

For health professionals

Symptoms of 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) are similar to a range of other respiratory illnesses such as influenza and do not necessarily mean that you have novel coronavirus (COVID-19).  Difficulty breathing is a sign of possible pneumonia and requires immediate medical attention.

Symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Breathing difficulties

As with other respiratory illnesses, it’s important to follow basic hand and respiratory hygiene measures to reduce the risk of infection:

  • Avoid close contact with people suffering acute respiratory infections
  • Frequently wash hands, especially after contact with ill people or their environment
  • Avoid close contact with sick live farm animals or wild animals
  • People with symptoms of acute respiratory infection should practise cough etiquette:
    • Maintain distance from others
    • Cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or cough/sneeze into your elbow
    • Wash hands

If you are planning on travelling overseas, and are worried you may be going to an area affected by the virus, check the government’s safetravel.govt.nz website for the latest travel advisories before you go.  Currently, for example, the advice is not to travel to mainland China

As always, travellers who become sick within a month of their arrival in New Zealand are encouraged to seek medical advice by phoning Healthline (0800 611 116) or seeing a doctor. If you have health-related concerns specifically about novel coronavirus (COVID-19) , call the dedicated 0800 number: 0800 358 5453 (or +64 9 358 5453 for international SIMs). The line is staffed by nurses, paramedics and health advisors. Interpreters are available. It is important to mention recent travel to areas affected by Covid-19 and/or any known contact with someone diagnosed with the virus.

If you have recently been in, or transited through, mainland China, the Ministry of Health advice is to stay in self-isolation for 14 days after leaving China. This is because there is a risk that you have been exposed to COVID-19 and, if you have been infected with the virus, you could spread it to others before your symptoms appear. You should also register your details with Healthline (within 24 hours of arriving in New Zealand) by free-phoning 0800 358 5453 (or +64 9 358 5453 for international SIMs).

If you have had close contact with someone confirmed (by medical diagnosis) as having novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the Ministry of Health advice is to also stay at home in isolation for 14 days after your last time of contact with the infected person. You should also register your details with Healthline by free-phoning 0800 358 5453.

If you start experiencing mild symptoms, remain at home and call the dedicated coronavirus number: 0800 358 5453. The line is staffed by nurses, paramedics and health advisors. Interpreters are available. It is important to mention recent travel to areas affected by novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and/or any known contact with someone diagnosed with the virus.

If your symptoms are more severe – such as fever and difficulty breathing – arrange to see a doctor urgently, letting them know your travel history in advance.

If you haven’t recently been to mainland China - or been in contact with anyone diagnosed with the virus - you are unlikely to be at risk. If you do start experiencing symptoms, it is likely to be another common respiratory illness. As it is currently winter in the Northern Hemisphere, respiratory illnesses (such as colds and influenza) are expected among those leaving the region. Stay home until you feel better and call Healthline for advice: 0800 611 116. Healthline has interpreters available on request. If your symptoms are severe, arrange to see a doctor. 

Remember, getting a yearly influenza vaccination still provides the best defence against respiratory illness for New Zealanders.

NOVEL COROVNAVIRUS (2019-NCOV) UPDATE

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Last updated 21.2.2020

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