Coronavirus outbreak - latest updates and Student Health advice from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre

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With the continuously evolving situation regarding the Coronavirus outbreak in China, the Health Protection Surveillance Centre are striving to provide clear advice and information for healthcare professionals and members of the public alike, which are being reviewed and updated on a daily basis. Please read below for further information, including the most recently updated advice regarding 3rd level students.

 

Information for third level colleges on novel coronavirus nCoV-2019 (Updated 14/02/2020)

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

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: 

- Fever

- Cough

- 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 yourself from novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV

- Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol based handrub

- 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.

- 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 (see below).

 

Advice for visitors/students and workers returning to Ireland

If you;

- have not been in mainland China* in the last 14 days AND

- have not been in contact with a person with novel coronavirus AND

- have 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 14DAYS;

- you have been in mainland China* OR

- have been in contact with a person diagnosed with novel coronavirus OR

- have attended a healthcare facility in another country where patients with novel coronavirus are being treated

If YOU ARE UNWELL (fever, cough, shortness of breath)
If you develop symptoms suggestive of acute respiratory illness you should:

- Stay at home

- Not go out to public places

- Not go to college/university or work

- Please phone your GP or student health service (for students)or emergency department for medical advice, rather than turning up in person

- Make sure that, when you phone, you mention that you have recently travelled to China or had exposure.These health services will arrange for them to get medical help

 

IF WITHIN THE LAST 14DAYS;

- you have been in mainland China* OR

- have been in contact with a person diagnosed with novel coronavirus OR

- have attended a healthcare facility in another country where patients with novel coronavirus are being treated

If YOU ARE WELL (no acute respiratory symptoms) You are asked to phone your local Department of Public Health for further advice

For people who have been in mainland China* in the last 14 days and are well:

- there is no need for quarantine (you do not need to be kept separate from others)

- You can attend college/university or work as normal

- Watch out for symptoms of respiratory illness for 14 days. If you develop any respiratory symptoms you should phone your GP/student health service/Emergency Department for advice. Tell the doctor what symptoms you have and that you were in mainland China*.

For people who have been in contact with a person diagnosed with novel Coronavirus in China* or elsewhere, or attended a health care facility in another country where cases were treated:

- Stay at home until you have contacted public health and received advice.

 

*excluding Hong Kong and Macau

 

Useful HPSC links -

HPSC Coronavirus homepage: www.hpsc.ie/a-z/respiratory/coronavirus/novelcoronavirus/

HPSC Advice for GPs/Practice Nurses: www.hpsc.ie/a-z/respiratory/coronavirus/novelcoronavirus/guidance/infectionpreventionandcontrolguidance/Primary%20Care%20Briefing%20Note.pdf

HPSC Travel Advice: www.hpsc.ie/a-z/respiratory/coronavirus/novelcoronavirus/traveladvice/

HPSC Risk Assessment Algorithm for Primary Care setting: www.hpsc.ie/a-z/respiratory/coronavirus/novelcoronavirus/algorithms/2019%20nCoV%20Risk%20Assessment%20Primary%20Care%20v0.3.pdf

HPSC Student Health Centre Coronavirus Poster: www.hpsc.ie/a-z/respiratory/coronavirus/novelcoronavirus/posters/ED%20PC%20Setting%20English%20colour%204%20Feb%202020.pdf
 

Attached Documents