Coronavirus Update Feburary 2020

First Confirmed confirmed case of COVID-19 in New Zealand.

The Ministry’s expert advisory group has revised the case definition for health professionals by adding Hong Kong, Iran, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Singapore and Thailand as countries of a higher level of interest when diagnosing patients.

Anyone who has visited those countries in the previous 14 days who develops symptoms of fever, cough or shortness of breath should seek medical advice by first phoning Healthline’s dedicated COVID-19 number 0800 358 5453 or contacting their GP by phoning ahead of their visit.

New Zealand has its first case of COVID-19, however, the likelihood of a widespread outbreak is low-moderate. The Ministry of Health is closely monitoring the situation and following guidance from the World Health Organization. Coronavirus can cause severe respiratory tract illnesses like pneumonia or bronchitis. Take control of the air you breathe with a few simple steps;

Start Practising good hand and sneeze/cough hygiene. This virus is mainly spread through droplets being coughed/sneezed onto people and onto surfaces which people then touch, they can then pick up the virus too. Wash your hands a bit more frequently, preferably with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (sing 'happy birthday' twice), and make sure you dry them thoroughly. Always cough and sneeze away from others and into your elbow rather than your hands. Try to be mindful of how many times you touch your face and then try to minimize this.

Face masks are not that great at preventing infection however they are far better at minimising the spread of droplets from an infected person which could help if there are a number of family members under one roof. These are a good to have but not essential.

Create a clean air zone for your home, office or school using IQAir's trusted and world recognised HealthPro portable air purifiers. IQAir has been purifying air for almost 60 years and have built a brand on quality of product and quality of air delivered via their HealthPro units. The units can supply clean HEPA filtered air to rooms up to 85m2 providing 3 air changes in one hour! Filter life is second to none out preforming all competitors of a similar nature. IQAir was used during the SAR's outbreak in 2003 by the Hong Kong Hospital Authority, who manages 43 hospitals, 47 specialist outpatient clinics and 13 general outpatient clinics. They compared purifiers using laser particle counters, all failed this test, except IQAir.

Stock up on some essentials, from some extra dried food to paracetamol and ibuprofen. There is no need to panic buy now but a few extras each week can help prepare for the potential 2 weeks of self-isolation that may be required.

Finally, stay home if you feel unwell and contact you primary healthcare provider for advice. If you have visited or have come into contact with someone who has visited the above countries contact the dedicated COVID-19 phone number 0800 358 5453.

If you or any of your family suffer from respiratory illness or have a condition that reduces the ability of your immune system to respond to infection, get in touch with Filtercorp Health. We can advise you on the best unit to suit your current needs.

For COVID-19 health advice and information, contact the Healthline team (for free) on 0800 358 5453 or +64 9 358 5453 for international SIMS.