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Press Release

Statement from the National Public Health Emergency Team - 4 February 2020

Published: 4 February 2020
From: Department of Health

The National Public Health Emergency Team met this afternoon, Tuesday, 4 February in the Department of Health, to review the available international data and guidance regarding the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in Wuhan, China, and to review Ireland’s ongoing preparedness in line with the advice from the WHO and the European Centre for Disease Control.

Ireland is well positioned to detect and respond to a case of the novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) that might arise here. As yet there are no confirmed cases in Ireland.

The establishment of an Expert Advisory Group, to function as an expert sub-group, that will provide advice to the National Public Health Emergency Team, the HSE and others, was noted. The first meeting of the Expert Advisory Group, to be chaired by Dr. Cillian De Gascun, Laboratory Director at the National Virus Reference Laboratory will take place tomorrow, Wednesday, 5 February.

Ireland will continue to monitor the situation and to participate in the international assessment of response to this novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) through the European Centre for Disease Control and the WHO.

The National Public Health Emergency Team will meet again on Tuesday, 11 February.


Notes to the Editor:

No information will be provided about individual activations of these plans or about individual cases of novel Coronavirus (2019-ncCoV) other than confirmed cases.

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre website is updated daily at 13.00 with the latest information about the novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Visit HPSC.ie

It can take up to 14 days for symptoms of Coronavirus to show.

Symptoms may include:

  • a cough
  • shortness of breath
  • breathing difficulties
  • fever (high temperature)
  • Coronavirus can also cause more severe illness including:
  • pneumonia
  • severe acute respiratory syndrome
  • kidney failure

Things you can do to protect yourself from getting Coronavirus include:

  • wash your hands properly and regularly
  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough and sneeze

Wash your hands properly and regularly with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub:

  • after coughing or sneezing
  • after toilet use
  • before eating
  • before and after preparing food
  • if you are in contact with a sick person, especially those with respiratory symptoms
  • if your hands are dirty
  • if you have handled animals or animal waste

Read a step-by-step guide on how to properly wash your hands and help avoid infection.

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