Entire soccer team quarantined in hotel over coronavirus
CHINA'S national women's football team has been placed in quarantine in their Brisbane hotel room until February 5 amid coronavirus fears.
Queensland Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said the team of 32, including support staff, arrived at Brisbane International Airport from Shanghai at 9am today.
She said they were all healthy but had recently visited Wuhan, the epicentre of a new coronavirus, which has killed more than 100 people and infected thousands.
Dr Young said the team, due to train in Brisbane, would be isolated until February 5 - 14 days since leaving Wuhan.
Qld Health is withholding the name of the inner-city hotel at this stage.
"There's no risk to anyone in that hotel," Dr Young said.
She said 19 people had undergone tests for the Wuhan virus in Queensland today and health authorities were awaiting the results.
So far no-one in Queensland has tested positive to the new coronavirus.
Meanwhile, all travellers returning from Hubei province in China should isolate themselves at home for 14 days after returning, under shock new advice from Australia's chief medico.
Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy said there were recent cases to suggest the new coronavirus was transferring between people in some rare cases where the carrier is showing no symptoms.
Prof Murphy said because of this "highly precautionary advice" was being issued that anyone who has recently returned from Hubei province in China should isolate themselves at home for 14 days.
"Contact of any confirmed coronavirus cases now must be isolated in their homes for 14 days following exposure," he said.
"Returned travellers who have been in the Hubei province of China must also be isolated in their home for 14 days after leaving Hubei province, other than of course seeking medical care.
"Given the substantial lower number of cases in China outside Hubei province, we do not currently recommend self-isolation for travellers from other parts of China are from other countries."
He said health authorities were closely monitoring development of cases outside Hubei and would update the advice as needed.
"The aim of the policy is containment of novel coronavirus and the prevention of person to person transmission in Australia," Prof Murph said.
But he said it was unlikely pre-symptomatic transmission of the disease would occur in Australia.
"It's probably unlikely because we believe the nature of coronaviruses is that they general are only infectious when you're symptomatic," Prof Murphy said.
"That's what we saw with SARS, that's what we saw with MERS. All the evidence from China suggests that nearly all of the cases are only infectious when they're symptomatics."
Further research into pre-symptomatic transmission taking place and closely monitored by the international community, the chief medical officer said.
Transfer can occur before symptoms develop
International cases of pre-symptomatic transmissions are being investigated in Germany and Japan.
"We are aware of one fairly convincing case of probable transmission from a pre-symptomatic case to other people two days prior to the onset of symptoms. That's the German case," Prof Murphy said.
"Most infections are transmitted by people who have symptoms of disease and that is a very important statement."
Health authorities said participants at a workshop in Munich had contact on January 21 with a woman who had been in Wuhan. She because symptomatic two days later and was diagnosed upon returning to China.
Four workshop attendees, with no travel history to China, have been confirmed to have contracted the disease.
There was also reports of a bus driver in Japan who transported passengers from Wuhan who may have contracted the virus.
Students told to stay home from school
Queensland school students who have travelled to China are urged to stay home from school in a bid to prevent the deadly coronavirus spreading.
"We are updating advice to schools to ask them to isolate all students who have travelled to China in the last 14 days until they have been returned in Australia for 14 days without symptoms," Health Minister Steven Miles said.
"Last night there was new evidence in Germany that the virus can be transmitted 48 hours prior to symptoms," CHO Dr Jeannette Young said.
"Any child returning from the Hubei Provence or any teacher cannot return to a school for 14 days since leaving Hubei Province," she said.
"We're also saying, to be extraordinarily cautious, we do not want anyone who has come back from anywhere in China, including Hong Kong, going to schools."
"Anyone who travelled from China or Hong Kong will be impacted from going to schools, early childhood centres or TAFE," Ms Young said.
Education Minister Grace Grace said when the advice changed they had informed Queensland schools in line with the Chief Health Officer's advice late today.