Seventh Case Of Coronavirus Confirmed In Australia
Queensland authorities have confirmed the state's first coronavirus case, bringing Australia's total to seven.
The Chinese national from Wuhan, a 44-year-old man, was confirmed to have coronavirus on Wednesday evening.
QLD Chief Health Officer, Dr Jeannette Young, said the man is currently in isolation and receiving treatment at the Gold Coast University Hospital.
All Australians returning from the Hubei province in China must be isolated in their homes for 14 days, as the country works to combat the deadly coronavirus outbreak.
Australian health authorities are also advising the self-isolation of people who have come into contact with any confirmed cases of coronavirus for 14 days after exposure.
"Given the substantially lower number of cases in China reported outside of Hubei province, we do not currently recommend self-isolation for travellers from other parts of China or from other countries," Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy said on Wednesday.
Despite the new warnings, the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) is insisting that the heightened advice is a "highly precautionary approach".
Murphy said evidence of pre-symptomatic transmission is currently "very limited", adding that the only "fairly convincing" case was one in Germany where four people at a seminar were likely infected two days prior to symptoms appearing in the confirmed case.
"This is an extremely unusual situation," Murphy told reporters.
"It's very surprising but we must take a highly precautionary view."
"Further details of the extent of pre-symptomatic transmission is being closely monitored by the international community and may result to changes in policy at a future time," he continued.
Murphy said the case was unusual because the nature of coronavirus had so far shown that patients are only infectious when symptomatic, similar to SARS and MERS.
The fresh warning from authorities comes as children across the country return to school following mixed advice on the isolation of students earlier this week.
Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan said on Wednesday that all state and territory education ministers had been notified that the advice sent out earlier this week has changed.
"They will all be reviewing their policies with regards to what should happen in terms of attendance at school," Tehan said.
"We will also be advising all childcare providers, all vocational education providers and all universities of this change of advice."
"We are also obviously advising parents through these statements today and education ministers will be further now looking at their guidelines and will be making decisions as a result of this change in advice which has come from the relevant medical experts."
There are now seven confirmed cases of coronavirus in Australia, four of which are in NSW, two in Victoria and one in Queensland.
The latest case in Victoria was confirmed on Wednesday afternoon, with a man in his 60s isolated and recovering at home. The man had recently returned from Wuhan and had become unwell more than two days after returning from China.
"There is no current evidence that passengers or crew on the flight the man took to return to Melbourne were at risk," the Victorian government said.
Five people who live with the man and had come in close contact with him are being monitored for symptoms. Two of those are children who have been excluded from school.
On Sunday, the man attended the House of Delight restaurant in Glen Waverley in Melbourne's south-east between 5:30pm and 7pm. Diners who were at the restaurant during that time have been urged to be aware of symptoms.
Wednesday's raised advice warning comes hours after Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced "isolated and vulnerable" Australians in Wuhan and the Hubei Province would be evacuated and transported to Christmas Island for 14 days of isolation.
The government has also revised the travel warning for China to "reconsider your need to travel", while the advice level for the Hubei Province has been updated to "do not travel."