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Published Friday 14 Feb 2020

You will have seen in the media that the Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) has spread to areas outside of China. The Ministry of Health is closely monitoring the situation and following guidance from the World Health Organisation (WHO). Coronavirus is of concern but at this stage the risk of a widespread outbreak is low in New Zealand.

Where to get up-to-date information

  • The Ministry of Health

The Ministry of Health website is your best source of information because it is updated daily. The Ministry of Health also have a Facebook page: @minhealthnz and a Twitter channel @minhealthnz to alert people to key updates and messages specifically about coronavirus.

  • Free dedicated Coronavirus Healthline number 0800 358 5453

This healthline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. People calling that line will be able to talk with a member of the National Telehealth Service. They have access to interpreters.You should call thia dedicated number for any coronavirus health advice and information and any questions you have about coronavirus or need information about self-isolation.

What is coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause a variety of illnesses ranging from common cold symptoms to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and in some cases even death.It is transferred between animals and humans. It may also be spread from person to person.

The outbreak originated in Wuhan, China.There are cases reported in several other countries which are being monitored closely by WHO.

Prevention of spread of coronavirus

Coronavirus is spread from an infected person to others through:

  • the air by coughing and sneezing
  • close personal contact – such as touching or shaking hands
  • touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands

Reassuringly, in the majority of cases coronavirus will run its own course and requires no treatment other than rest, drinking plenty of fluids and staying away from others so as to minimise risk of infecting others. Clinical pathways are being developed for management of patients with more severe infections who will need hospitalisation. These include best practice recommendations to protect DHB staff and other patients.

What is HVDHB doing?

A response team has been set up to ensure an appropriate level of readiness to identify and manage a possible case of case of coronavirus in our region. This is in line with recommendations from the Ministry of Health.

We have been working with Regional Public Health and the other DHBs and the laboratory in our sub-region to ensure a coordinated response across the greater Wellington region.

Further information

Other useful resources