February 2020,

Coronavirus Update

February 11, 2020


Late in 2019, China identified an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by the newly recognised Coronavirus (2019-nCoV).   Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which include the common cold, but also more significant illnesses such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).

The 2019-nCoVirus may cause a range of symptoms including fever, cough and breathing difficulty.  The majority of cases are mild, but approximately 20% may progress to severe lung disease.  Currently, the death rate appears low (1-2%).  The incubation period is uncertain, with estimates varying from 2 to 14 days.

The 2019-nCoVirus can spread from person to person, and cases have been identified worldwide.
Along with many countries, New Zealand has instigated monitoring of travellers from China on entry to New Zealand.

Safetravel NZ advises New Zealanders not to travel to China, and a number of countries have instigated restrictions for those traveling from China.

The World Health Organisation continues to monitor the situation closely and is releasing regular updates.   Advice is constantly evolving, so for the latest information please see the websites listed below.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do I do if I’ve been in China?
If you have been in China in the last 14 days, it is recommended that you place yourself in self-quarantine at home.

If you are feeling unwell (fever, shortness of breath, cough, sore throat), or you have potentially been in contact with a confirmed case of 2019-nCoVirus, contact your medical practitioner – preferably by phone initially.

Should I be wearing a mask?
The CDC and other world leading health organisations do not recommend wearing a mask either routinely or when traveling – unless you are sick.

How do I avoid catching the Coronavirus at home and when traveling?

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathrooms, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. (HPSNZ utilises Zoono)
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Avoid animals (alive or dead), animal markets, and products that come from animals (such as uncooked meat).


When Traveling, Consider:

    • Humidiflyer mask for the plane
    • Blis ElitePRO Probiotic – tested for WADA Banned Substances
    • Saline nasal spray
    • Antiseptic gargle (Betadine)
  • If you are feeling unwell at any time (particularly after travel), see your Doctor!