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Information for support workers, clients and families on Novel Coronavirus

We encourage you to read this information and take precautions for yourself and when dealing with clients.  Below, please find some important information as well as links to fact sheets issued by the Department of Health.   

If you are feeling anxious about this issue, please refer to the Australian Government websites for further information or speak to your line manager.  All staff are also encouraged to use annecto’s Employee Assistance Program ASSURE who are available 24/7 on 1800 808 374  or via this link:  https://assureprograms.com.au/

Novel Coronavirus 

Health authorities have identified coronavirus cases in Australia in January 2020.  Currently, Australians most at risk of contracting the virus are those who have been in mainland China recently, or have been in close contact with someone who has a confirmed case of coronavirus.There is clear evidence of person-to person transmission, so it’s important to take precautions. 

Support Workers:

  • Be alert for patients who have travelled to Hubei province, mainland China within 14 days of onset of illness and who present with fever and respiratory symptoms.
  • Ask a travel history in patients with respiratory symptoms.

What is Novel Coronavirus?

Novel Coronavirus is a respiratory illness causing flu-like symptoms

Those most at risk:

  • people with compromised immune systems, such as people with cancer
  • elderly people
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • very young children and babies, and
  • people with diagnosed chronic medical conditions

How Novel Coronavirus is spread:

The coronavirus is most likely to spread from person-to-person through:

  • direct close contact with a person whilst they are infectious;
  • close contact with a person with a confirmed infection coughs or sneezes; or
  • touching objects or surfaces (such as door knobs or tables) contaminated from a cough orsneeze from a person with a confirmed infection, and then touching your mouth or face

How to help prevent the spread of Novel Coronavirus:

Practising good hand hygiene and sneeze/cough hygiene is the best defence.

  • wash hands often with soap and water before and after eating as well as after attending the toilet;
  • avoid contact with others by keeping family members, including children, at home if they are unwell; and
  • cough and sneeze into your elbow.

Coronavirus symptoms:

Symptoms include (but are not limited to) fever, cough, sore throat, fatigue and shortness of breath.

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Further information: 

Australian Government Department of Health Novel Coronavirus Fact Sheet:

https://www.health.gov.au/resources/collections/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-resources 

Australian Government Department of Health:

https://www.health.gov.au/health-topics/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov