HSE to contact people who may have interacted with Belfast coronavirus patient
A coronavirus case was confirmed earlier on Thursday.
The Chief Medical Officer of Northern Ireland's Public Health Agency today confirmed that the first case of coronavirus (COVID-19) had been diagnosed on the island of Ireland.
It was confirmed by Dr. Michael McBride that the patient had travelled through Dublin on their way back from Northern Italy. The patient is currently self-isolated in Belfast, and is receiving specialist treatment.
The HSE has since issued an update on the matter, stating that the patient did travel through the Republic of Ireland.
The statement also confirmed that "public health authorities are working to inform any contacts the patient had in order to prevent transmission.
"Those at most risk of severe infection and those with most exposure will be contacted first."
The HSE have said that the risk of contracting the illness in Ireland remains low, despite this latest development.
However, anyone who knows they have been in close contact with a confirmed case in the last 14 days and has symptoms (cough, shortness of breath, fever) is advised to:
- isolate themselves from other people - this means going into a different, well-ventilated room, with a phone
- phone their GP, or emergency department - if this is not possible, phone 112, or 999
- in a medical emergency (if you have severe symptoms) phone 112 or 999
The HSE has also published advice on how best to protect oneself from coronavirus.
- wash your hands properly and regularly with soap and water or clean them with an alcohol-based hand rub
- cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough and sneeze
- put used tissues into a bin and wash your hands
- clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
- follow the travel advice from the Department of Foreign Affairs if travelling to a country or region with a spread of coronavirus