Two patients in Gold Coast with suspected coronavirus
TWO patients with suspected cases of the deadly novel coronavirus are being tested at a Gold Coast Hospital as authorities move to prevent the potential spread of the disease.
The virus has sparked a worldwide response since an outbreak was first detected in Wuhan city in the Hubei Province, China last year.
Since the first detection in December a number of deaths due to the virus have been reported.
It is understood a vigilant local doctor was responsible for picking up the possible early symptoms of the Gold Coast patients.
It is also understood the individuals had recently returned from near the Wuhan region.
The outcomes of the test for the virus are likely to be confirmed over the weekend.
Queensland's Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said the government was doing "everything they can to prevent the disease from entering Australia.
"Queensland is well-prepared. We've dealt with health emergencies that have threatened Queensland in the past - swine flu, bird flu, SARS, MERS and Ebola - and we'll deal with them again," she said.
"So far Queensland Health has tested four people for the novel coronavirus. All four tested negative. Two further people are currently being tested."
Symptoms are similar to those of several other respiratory conditions, such as influenza, and include fever, cough, shortness of breath and sore throat.
The public are advised to take the same health precautions they would during influenza season. That includes heeding basic disease prevention advice like washing your hands regularly, especially after being in public areas, and covering your cough.
Anyone who has developed any respiratory symptoms within 14 days of travel to Wuhan is advised to see their GP immediately. People are urged to call ahead and advise the clinic of their symptoms so precautions can be taken.
For information on coronavirus, contact 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84).