An Australian man with symptoms of the deadly Coronavirus has been put into isolation after returning home from a trip to China.
The man is being kept at his home in Brisbane as he awaits test results for the mysterious virus.
His quarantine comes after earlier tests came back inconclusive, Queensland’s chief health officer Jeneatte Young said.
Chinese residents wear masks while waiting at a bus station near the closed Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, which has been linked to the outbreak which started in December
Plane passengers in China are being screened after an outbreak of the deadly Coronavirus
Ms Young said there is no need for alarm at this stage and they hoped to have the results in a few days.
The man had been visiting China’s Wuhan province, which is the epicentre of the coronavirus, the Courier Mail reported.
There are three direct flights a week from the city into Sydney.
Each of these flights will now be met by biosecurity staff.
The virus is related to the deadly SARS and its symptoms are similar to pneumonia.
It has been spreading rapidly since cases first appeared in December 31, 2019. Four people have died since the outbreak began.
The Brisbane man recently returned to Australia after visiting family in China’s Wuhan province, which is where the coronavirus first broke out
The virus is related to the deadly SARS and its symptoms are similar to pneumonia
The total number of cases in the world currently stands at 222, but there are reportedly more than 1,700 suspected infections
Authorities will ramp up security at airports to monitor flights between Wuhan and Australia after confirmation the new strain of the virus can be transmitted between humans.
Information will be displayed across all other points of entry into Australia to warn people who develop symptoms to seek urgent medical attention.
The unnamed virus has infected an estimated 1,700 in Wuhan, China. Authorities said the virus had spread to other cities in China. The total confirmed cases has tipped 200 and three have died. Four confirmed cases are outside China in Thailand, Japan, and South Korea
The disease has an incubation period of about a week, and there is currently no vaccine.
Australian authorities will also work with the Chinese media to get the message across.
On Tuesday morning, Australia’s chief medical officer Brendan Murphy said the risk to the nation was low.
‘There is no need for alarm and the risk to the Australian public from this novel coronavirus remains relatively low.
‘Although, we do need to keep a precautionary and active surveillance of the situation.’
More to come
WHAT IS THE NEW CORONAVIRUS SPREADING FROM CHINA?
An outbreak of pneumonia-like illnesses began in Wuhan, China, at the end of 2019.
Its symptoms are typically a fever, cough and trouble breathing, but some patients have developed pneumonia, a potentially life-threatening infection that causes inflammation of the small air sacs in the lungs.
Scientists in China recognised its similarity to two viruses that turned into global killers: SARS and MERS.
SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, is caused by the SARS coronavirus, known as SARS Co, and first emerged in China in 2002.
By the end of the outbreak, the virus had spread to several other Asian countries as well as the UK and Canada, killing 774.
MERS, or Middle East Respirator Syndrome, originated in the region for which it’s named, ultimately killed 787 people and belongs to the same family of coronaviruses as SARS.
The new virus wasn’t a match for either of those two, but it did belong to the same coronavirus family.
Coronaviruses are a large family of pathogens, and most cause mild respiratory infections – i.e. the common cold.
But because the SARS and MERS proved deadly, the emergence of another new coronavirus has health officials on edge around the world.
Like its two dangerous cousins, the new coronavirus appears to have originated with animals – particularly seafood, chickens, bats and marmots – found at a Wuhan market that’s been identified as the epicenter of the outbreak.
The symptoms of SARS, which may be similar to those of the new coronavirus, include:
- a high temperature (fever)
- extreme tiredness (fatigue)
- muscle pain
- loss of appetite
After these symptoms, the infection will begin to affect your lungs and airways (respiratory system), leading to additional symptoms, such as:
- a dry cough
- breathing difficulties
- an increasing lack of oxygen in the blood, which can be fatal in the most severe cases
So far, there isn’t a treatment for the new virus or SARS, though the new virus has been sequenced, allowing for rapid diagnostics.