In the light of the widening impact of the novel coronavirus, the Australian Department of Health has released a factsheet for primary and community health workers which provides key information on the disease including how to deal with patients who meet either epidemiological or clinical criteria.
It is part of a suite of resources accessible via Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) resources which provide guidance on the disease itself, the current situation and how to identify symptoms and exposure history.
Given the fact that the full clinical spectrum of the disease is not known, health professionals are being urged to use clinical and public health judgement to determine if there is a need to test patients who do not meet epidemiological or clinical criteria.
Due to the fast-moving nature of information surrounding the coronavirus, the Department is revising its criteria as “more precise information emerges on the outbreak including characteristics of transmission, incubation and infectivity period and geographical spread.”
Regular updates can be found at the Department of Health
In addition to the information, provided in the factsheet, the ADA reminds all dentists and allied dental practitioners that their regulatory requirement to practise in accordance with acceptable infection control and prevention standards must continue to be observed with responsibility resting with the practitioner, not the organisation for whom the practitioner works.
Infection control information can be accessed at the Infection Control section of the ADA’s website which includes the ADA’s Guidelines for Infection Control.