Message from the President: novel coronavirus notice


As you will be aware from recent extensive media coverage, a novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), first diagnosed in China in December 2019, has spread globally.  NSW Health is responding to this outbreak and has implemented a range of measures to promptly identify cases of novel coronavirus infection and prevent transmission in NSW.  A range of resources have also been made available for the public and health professionals and can be viewed on the NSW Health website.  

NSW Health has also advised that infection with the new coronavirus is a notifiable condition under the NSW Public Health Act, so all cases and suspected cases must be reported by medical practitioners to NSW Health public health authorities.

The Federal Department of Health also has resources available for primary and community health care workers on its website.

How can dental practitioners manage the risks in their practice?

Dental practitioners can implement processes within their practice to manage the risks associated with the new coronavirus.  This includes ensuring that, when making dental appointments, enquiries are made as to whether the patient has:

  • recently travelled to China, and in particular Wuhan, China, and
  • had, within the past 14 days of travel to China, any fever and/or respiratory symptoms/infections, or
  • been in close contact with a suspected case of the coronavirus.

If patients identify with any of the above criteria, you should recommend that they delay having any non-urgent dental treatment. 

The above websites have health warning posters available for your use.  The Council recommends that appropriate signage be placed in your patient waiting room/area regarding the novel coronavirus.

Conjoint Associate Professor F Shane Fryer OAM