While there are only a small number of confirmed Coronavirus cases in Victoria there is a high probability that the virus will spread and impact more Victorians.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared the new coronavirus outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.
GV Health’s Executive Director Medical Services & Chief Medical Officer, Dr John Elcock said all of us can play our part in containing the spread of this virus by doing a couple of simple things.
“You should pay close attention to good hand hygiene. Wash your hands regularly with soap and water, especially before eating and after using the toilet.
“Cover your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing with a tissue or cough into your elbow. Dispose of the tissue into a bin and then wash your hands afterwards,” Dr Elcock added.
“If you have travelled to (including transit through) a country considered to pose a risk of transmission in the 14 days before onset of illness or if you have had close or casual contact in the 14 days before illness onset with a confirmed case of COVID-19 we recommend you call the Coronavirus hotline, “Dr Elcock added.
Countries that are at higher risk include Mainland China (excludes Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan), Iran, Italy and South Korea. Countries deemed as moderate risk are Cambodia, Japan, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore, and Thailand.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 include:
- Breathing difficulties such as breathlessness
- Sore throat, and
- Fatigue or tiredness.
Dr Elcock said that it is not necessary for anyone to wear face masks if they are well.
“Face masks are not recommended for use by members of the public in Victoria.
“Stocks of masks will be in high demand in health services and GV Health’s supply will be kept for staff and patients.
“It is also important that if your feel unwell with any of the listed symptoms that you call the Coronavirus hotline which is serviced by Nurse-On-Call on 1800 675 398.
“We ask that you keep Triple Zero (000) calls for emergencies only.
“In the case you need to come to the Emergency Department please call ahead on 5832 2322 so we can meet you in the car park with a face mask before entering the health service,” Dr Elcock said.