UPDATE 10 February 2020 - Novel Coronavirus 2019 nCoV
February 10, 2020
Please be reminded that a new core webpage for clinicians has been established - Guidelines for Queensland Clinicians webpage - with the latest available information to assist Queensland clinicians diagnose and/or treat patients with suspected or confirmed novel coronavirus 2019-nCov.
Since the last PHN email alert sent on 5 February 2020, updates have been made to advice for clinicians regarding novel coronavirus. Of particular note is the update to advice around the infection control precautions required for specimen collection.
Please see resources below, for more information:
'Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) information about the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) during clinical care'. The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) has endorsed interim recommendations for the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) during clinical care of people with possible 2019nCoV infection. Note that these interim recommendations are based on current evidence and may be subject to change as more information becomes available.
'PHLN guidance on laboratory testing for 2019-nCoV'. The advice is now stratified – there is slightly different advice applying to patients who have severe symptoms (fever, breathing difficulty, suggestive of pneumonia) or frequent, severe or productive coughing episodes.
'Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) information sheet for primary and community health workers'. Version 4 has now been made available. This incorporates the updated definitions from last week's alert as well as the latest PPE advice.
You should continue to return to the above websites for the latest information rather than printing/storing local copies of fact or information sheets.
Surgical masks available for general practice
The Department of Health has made available a limited supply of SURGICAL masks for general practice staff and people who may have had contact with the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). For general practices located in the Darling Downs and West Moreton region, these masks will be distributed via our PHN.
Before requesting masks for your practice, we ask you to consider:
> Is there a local supply available commercially?
> Does your practice have a population which is more likely to have been exposed to the novel coronavirus?
> Does your practice have an unusual number of patients presenting with respiratory symptoms.
If you have an identified need for surgical masks at your practice, please contact our Primary Care Liaison team via email email@example.com
Please include the quantity of masks that you would like to receive for consideration. We will only be releasing up to 100 masks per practice at this time due to limited supply. If you have already received masks and your supply is becoming limited again, please contact us for further supply.
West Moreton Health and Darling Downs Health are both monitoring the situation regarding Novel Coronavirus closely and will stand up a fever clinic if it is required in their respective regions.
Contacting your local Public Health Unit
Please discuss any cases of concern with your local Public Health Unit immediately so that appropriate actions and testing can be organised.
> Darling Downs P: 07 4699 8240 (business hours) P: 07 3646 1699 (after hours)
> West Moreton P: 07 3818 4700 (business hours) P: 07 3176 2111 (after hours, ask for public health)