February 13, 2020 | Uncategorised
In January 2020, Chinese authorities confirmed a new type of coronavirus, named by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as COVID-19. There are currently no confirmed cases in New Zealand but there is a risk of COVID-19 being imported and measures are being taken to minimise the risks including screening at airports.
The Ministry of Health (MoH) have advised the risk of an ongoing outbreak in NZ remains low and is continuing to monitor the situation. MoH is the primary point of authority and reference for information. We recommend staying up to date with the information on their website: MOH COVID-19 Updates
Coronaviruses are a large and diverse family of viruses which includes the common cold, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). While investigations continue into the origin of the virus, there is evidence that 2019-nCoV can spread from person to person in the community and in health care settings.
The Multiple Sclerosis International Federation has advised that as this strain of the coronavirus is new, we still need to learn more about how it may affect people with MS.
Many disease modifying therapies (DMTs) for MS work by suppressing or modifying the immune system. We know that people with MS who are receiving these therapies can face an increased risk of complications related to viral infections.
If you are taking a DMT and are either exposed to COVID-19 or are confirmed to have the COVID-19 infection, please contact your neurologist or other medical professional.
The Ministry of Health advise the symptoms are similar to many other illnesses such as influenza. As such having the following symptoms is not automatically an indicator of 2019-nCoV.
*Difficulty breathing is a sign of possible pneumonia and requires immediate medical attention.
WHO suggests there is an incubation period of 2-10 days for symptoms to appear.
If you have a fever, cough or difficulty breathing MOH recommend contacting Healthline on their freephone 0800 611 116. Alternatively, contact your GP or practice Nurse and they can discuss your symptoms with you.
Testing is available in NZ.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) advise people follow basic principles to reduce risk of the virus spreading and protect against COVID-19. These are:
It is important to avoid contact with anyone who may have been living or travelling in an area where COVID-19 has been circulating. Get the latest updates on where there have been reported cases of COVID-19 from the World Health Organization here.
You can also find out the answers to some commonly asked questions about COVID-19 on the World Health Organization’s website.
We recommend staying up to date with the information on the Ministry of Health website for NZ specific information: MOH COVID-19 Updates
Find out more about COVID-19 in the short informational video, from the World Health Organization: Novel Coronovirus (COVID-19) WHO Information Video