As you will be aware, there is an emerging outbreak of novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), which is gaining significant media attention.
We are beginning to see members of the community present to our Emergency Departments with flu-like symptoms, who may or may not have recently travelled in the Wuhan area where the virus originated, and are understandably concerned.
People with novel Coronavirus usually have a fever, sometimes with respiratory symptoms. These may include a cough, shortness of breath, rapid breathing, a sore throat, or a runny nose.
We are well placed at Monash Health to diagnose, care for and isolate patients should they arrive with the disease. DHHS guidelines are in place and our Emergency Department teams have a clear process to follow as part of triage and registration to identify suspected cases.
If needed, we have established processes and procedures for managing patients in respiratory isolation including negative pressure rooms to reduce airborne transmission of disease.
Our Infectious Diseases Department and Infection Prevention team are well briefed and positioned to provide expert advice as required.
We are in close contact with the Department of Health and Human Services, who are working with the Australian Government and other states and territories to ensure Victoria is prepared for any cases which may occur here.
I will continue to keep you updated as more information becomes available.
Thank you, as always, for the care you provide to our community and if you have any questions or concerns, please speak with your line manager.