There is an ongoing outbreak of a novel Coronavirus in China. Infections have been reported in other countries.
The HSE HPSC is monitoring the situation and updating its website www.hpsc.ie daily.
Coronaviruses are a large group of viruses that can cause illnesses. Some of these illnesses are very mild, like the common cold, while others are more severe, like SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome).
Novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV
A “novel coronavirus” means a new type of coronavirus that has never been seen in humans before. The coronavirus recently identified in China is one of these. This new coronavirus is being named “2019–nCoV”.
Symptoms of novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV
It can take up to 14 days from exposure to the virus for the symptoms of this 2019-nCoV to appear. These symptoms include:
Shortness of breath
Treatment of novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV
There is no specific treatment for 2019-nCoV at present. But the symptoms of the virus can be treated.
How to protect individuals from novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV
Wash hands often with soap and water. Or use an alcohol based hand rub. Teach children how to wash their hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol based hand rub.
If you are coughing or sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue. Throw the used tissue away into a closed bin, and wash your hands. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your flexed (bent) elbow. Have tissues available. Teach your children to do the same.
Avoid close contact with anyone who you know has cold or flu symptoms.
Check the travel advisories from the Department of Foreign Affairs prior to arranging travel abroad.
Advice for students/childcare
If the student/child;
has not been in mainland China* in the last 14 days AND
has not been in contact with a person with novel coronavirus AND
has not attended a healthcare facility where patients with novel coronavirus are being treated in another country. Then no specific measures are needed.
IF WITHIN THE LAST 14 DAYS;
the student/child has been in mainland China* OR has been in contact with a person diagnosed with novel coronavirus OR has attended a healthcare facility in another country where patients with novel coronavirus are being treated
If CHILD OR STUDENT IS UNWELL (fever, cough, shortness of breath)
If your child/student develops symptoms suggestive of acute respiratory illness your student/child should:
Stay at home
Not go out to public places
Not go to crèche or school
Please phone the child’s GP or emergency department for medical advice, rather than turning up in person
Make sure that, when you phone, you mention your student’s/child’s recent travel or exposure. These health services will arrange for them to get medical help
excluding Hong Kong and Macau
IF WITHIN THE LAST 14 DAYS;
the student/child has been in mainland China* OR has been in contact with a person diagnosed with novel coronavirus OR
has attended a healthcare facility in another country where patients with novel coronavirus are being treated
If CHILD OR STUDENT IS WELL (no acute respiratory symptoms)
You (parent or guardian) are asked to phone your local Department of Public Health by phone for further advice.
For children or students who have been in mainland China* in the last 14 days and are well:
there is no need for quarantine (the child or student does not need to be kept separate from others)
The child or student can attend crèche or school as normal
Watch out for symptoms of respiratory illness for 14 days. If your child or student develops any respiratory symptoms you should phone their GP or Emergency Department for advice. Tell the healthcare provider what symptoms your child or student has and that they have recently been in mainland China*.
For children or students who have been in contact with a person diagnosed with coronavirus in China or elsewhere, or attended a health care facility in another country where cases were treated
Stay at home until parent/guardian has contacted public health and received advice.
excluding Hong Kong and Macau
Advice for staff, volunteers and workers in pre-schools and schools
Please see Information on novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV for people who have come to Ireland from China, including visitors, students and workers for further information.
If staff, volunteers or workers have been in mainland China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau) in the last 14 days, they should make contact with their local Department of Public Health by phone for further advice.
If they remain well, no specific measures are needed in the workplace.
They will be advised by Public Health to watch out for any symptoms of novel coronavirus for 14 days from their return. The symptoms include cough, temperature and breathing difficulties.
For people with no symptoms, there is no need for them to stay off work or isolate themselves. There are no restrictions regarding work or other social activities.
If they develop symptoms within 14 days of return (fever, cough, breathing difficulties), then they should isolate themselves (stay away from other people) and contact their GP/Doctor straight away by phone for advice. They should inform their GP/Doctor of their recent travel history and of their symptoms.
Guidance for Ireland is based on guidance from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the World Health Organization, and has been developed by the National Public Health Outbreak Response Team. An Expert Advisory Group, which includes experts in Public Health Medicine, Infectious Diseases, Infection Prevention and Control and Virology has been established which provides expert scientific advice relating to novel coronavirus, including the review of current guidance.
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