Above: Six degrees of separation example In line with national advice, NSW Health today urged people returning from Cambodia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand to be vigilant in monitoring themselves for respiratory symptoms or fever. In addition to the outbreak in mainland China, there are increasing reports of transmission of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) or the potential for outbreaks in these countries. NSW Health has daily telephone conferences with the Commonwealth and other states and territories to ensure a national process to assess the risk associated with travel and for developing consistent advice. The Commonwealth Department of Health website is regularly updated with the latest health and travel advice. Travellers should check SmartTraveller web site.NSW Chief Health Officer, Dr Kerry Chant said symptoms may be very mild, and include fever, cough, sore throat, or shortness of breath. “If symptoms develop, immediately isolate yourself and call your doctor or health direct 1800 022 222 for an assessment,” Dr Chant said. If you have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, or returned from mainland China you must self-isolate for 14 days since last contact or departure from mainland China. “Please avoid gatherings if you have been in contact with suspect cases in countries where there have been outbreaks,” Dr Chant said. NSW Health provides up-to-date information on COVID-19 on its website and will continue to advise the community of developments. “I want to stress there is still no evidence of community transmission of COVID-19 in Australia,” Dr Chant said. “This advice is to protect the community and the health of individuals who have visited higher risk international destinations.” Practising good hand and sneeze/cough hygiene is the best defence against most viruses. For more information, find the facts at www.health.nsw.gov.au.
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