Fifth case of COVID-19 confirmed after man returns from Iran

NSW Health is urging people who haverecently returned from Iran or another high risk country, to ensure they areaware of the symptoms and seek immediate health assessment if symptoms developwithin 14 days of their departure from that country.

An adult male in his 40’s has beendiagnosed with COVID-19 following recent travel from Iran. The man has hadrelatively mild symptoms but has been admitted to Westmead Hospital.

Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chantsaid this is the fifth person to be confirmed as having the virus in New SouthWales, the previous four have all been discharged from hospital.

“This latest case arrived in Sydneyfrom Iran on 22 February 2020. He did not develop symptoms until 24 February2020 and was seen at a hospital emergency department and tested on 28February,” Dr Chant said.

“He was advised to be isolated at homewhile waiting for the test result which was confirmed positive for COVID-19late on 29 February.”

Another man in his 50’s is also underinvestigation for possible COVID-19 based on preliminary laboratory results.

The local Public Health Unit isfollowing up contacts of the confirmed case in accordance with NationalGuidelines, and is also following up on contacts of the second possible case asa precaution.

NSW Health, as part of the ongoinginternational response, will continue to work closely with CommonwealthGovernment agencies to monitor travellers returning from China and Iran.

“Travellers from Iran should beparticularly vigilant for symptoms as there has been a rapid increase inCOVID-19 activity there in recent days,” Dr Chant said.

People who become unwell after travelfrom a number of other countries and regions are also recommended to beassessed for COVID-19 testing.

The newly confirmed case demonstratesthe importance of returning travellers knowing the symptoms of COVID-19, suchas fever, cough, runny nose, or shortness of breath.

“Anyone with these symptoms should isolatethemselves form others and practice simple hygiene by covering their coughs andsneezes with a tissue or their elbow and washing their hands thoroughly,” DrChant said.

It is important people take action tokeep their family and friends safe, so don’t be afraid to speak to your doctorif you have any symptoms.

“Please call ahead to speak to your GPbefore visiting, or call healthdirect on 1800 022 222. GPs canarrange testing, of if you are very unwell you can also call ahead beforeattending your local Emergency Department for assessment.

Health workers in NSW public hospitalsand community-based GPs have been issued advice to help them identify any casesand apply careful infection control measures to prevent the spread of theCOVID-19.

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