Novel coronavirus: Follow up of possible flight contacts
27/01/2020 12:54:05 p.m.

Monday 27 January


 Novel coronavirus: Follow up of possible flight contacts


Three members of a tour group of 19 were assessed at Rotorua Hospital yesterday as public health services were alerted that they may have been exposed to someone with confirmed novel coronavirus infection on a previous flight in to Sydney on 20 January 2020. The tour group arrived in Auckland on Saturday evening from Australia and then travelled to Rotorua.

As part of a co-ordinated response by health agencies, the group were firstly assessed by St John paramedics. Three people were then taken to Rotorua Hospital’s Emergency Department for further assessment. While they were found to have no symptoms that would indicate infection with the virus, a range of tests were taken for processing.

Expert advice was obtained from the Ministry of Health and Infectious Disease specialists and the three patients were able to be discharged last evening and re-join their tour group. Toi Te Ora Public Health Medical Officer of Health, Dr Neil de Wet says that public health services continue to follow up and monitor the group and are currently reviewing whether any further measures are necessary.

Symptoms of the coronavirus include fever, cough, and trouble breathing, and can appear anywhere from two to 14 days after exposure.

Local public health services have been working closely with the Ministry of Health to ensure appropriate protocols are followed and any risk to the public is managed appropriately.

Lakes DHB Chief Executive Nick Saville-Wood says DHB staff are aware of the need to be vigilant for signs and symptoms of people who may present to the emergency departments with flu-like symptoms.

He says DHB staff are working closely with Toi Te Ora Public Health to keep health professionals across the Lakes district informed of the risk.