Are you overwhelmed by the amount of coronavirus (COVID-19) information infiltrating your news feed? The home doctor experts at House Call Doctor have put together a factsheet with the most recent updates.

What is the coronavirus?

COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province in China at the end of 2019. It has now spread globally in a large and ongoing outbreak. Coronaviruses are a large family or viruses that generally cause mild illness, such as the common cold, but this strain is proving fatal for vulnerable groups.

What is the current status?

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared the COVID-19 a global health emergency but it is yet to be classed as a pandemic. The outbreak has affected an estimated 105,586 people globally, spreading to 101 countries. There have been 484 deaths outside of China, and 3,100 confirmed in China.

How many cases in Australia?

As of Monday 9 March, there were 80 confirmed coronavirus cases, including 3 deaths in Australia.

  • 40 cases in New South Wales
  • 12 in Queensland
  • 6 in South Australia
  • 2 in Tasmania
  • 8 in Victoria
  • 2 in Western Australia
  • 10 associated with the Diamond Princess cruise ship.

How is the virus spread?

The coronavirus is spread through human contact and can be passed on through contaminated droplets by coughing and sneezing, or by contact with contaminated hands, surfaces or objects. It can take up to 5 to 6 days for symptoms to show which is why it is important to stay in isolation for at least 14 days if you are unwell or have come into contact with COVID-19.

What should I do if I show signs and symptoms?

If you have recently travelled from areas affected by coronavirus, it is important to isolate yourself. You should call ahead to your GP before visiting to advise them of recent travel history and any symptoms that you experience, in order to protect others.

A telehealth service is available through House Call Doctor where patients can speak with an Australian doctor via an online consult.

For updates on coronavirus, visit Australian Government Department of Health.