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Brisbane man in isolation after showing coronavirus symptoms

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

A Brisbane man is being tested for a new, deadly strain of coronavirus after returning from China with a respiratory illness.

A Brisbane man is being tested for a new, deadly strain of coronavirus after returning from China with a respiratory illness.

Queensland Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young told reporters the man had recently visited family in the city of Wuhan, the same region in China where the coronavirus broke out in December last year.

Dr Young said the man was being kept in isolation at home.

The results of his test would be known in a couple of days, Dr Young said.

Dr Young said GPs and hospital emergency departments had been told to be aware of anyone who had travelled to Wuhan and presented with respiratory symptoms.

"We need to be alert to this, as we are," Dr Young said.

New South Wales Health will also work with biosecurity staff at Sydney Airport to monitor travellers returning from the outbreak zone. No cases of the virus have been detected in NSW.

New coronavirus strain: What you need to know

NSW Health director of health protection Dr Jeremy McAnulty said advice is being provided to travellers who may have already returned to NSW from Wuhan. It can take up to two weeks for symptoms to develop.

"There is no need for alarm, but people should be aware of the emerging situation and if they develop symptoms on returning from affected areas overseas, they should call ahead before seeing their GP," Dr McAnulty said.

"This virus does not appear to spread easily between people, but anyone with symptoms should practice simple hygiene by covering their coughs and sneezes with a tissue or their elbow and washing their hands thoroughly."

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NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said public health officials are working with the Commonwealth and other jurisdictions to monitor the situation in China.

"Sydney is a popular destination for people travelling from China especially around the time of the Lunar New Year, so up-to-date health advice is paramount," Mr Hazzard said.

Health workers in NSW public hospitals as well as community-based GP have already been issued precautionary advice to help them identify any cases of the infection.

Travellers wear face masks as they walk outside of the Beijing Railway Station. China has reported a sharp rise in the number of people infected with a new coronavirus, including the first cases in the capital.

The new strain of the coronavirus has killed three people and infected more than 200 people so far.

So far, it's been confirmed that three travellers - two now in Thailand and one in Japan - who visited Wuhan have been infected by the virus.

Earlier today, a Chinese medical expert also confirmed the virus, which has so far killed three people, could be spread from human to human.

Zhong Nanshan, head of the team set up by China's National Health Commission to investigate the pneumonia-like virus, said that at least two cases had been spread from person to person and medical staff had also been infected.

Authorities had previously said the new strain of coronavirus, which was traced by health officials to a seafood market in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, was primarily passed from animals to humans.

But at least two people have become infected in recent days, despite living hundreds of kilometres from Wuhan.

A British tourist in a Phuket hospital is also being tested for the virus after showing similar symptoms, The Sun reports.

Contact reporter Emily McPherson at

Source: 9News

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