Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young speaks to the media at a press conference in Brisbane CBD, Saturday February 29, 2020. The government has issued a contact tracing alert for the Coronavirus after a woman arrived to the Gold Coast with the virus. (AAP/Image Sarah Marshall)
Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young speaks to the media at a press conference in Brisbane CBD, Saturday February 29, 2020. The government has issued a contact tracing alert for the Coronavirus after a woman arrived to the Gold Coast with the virus. (AAP/Image Sarah Marshall)

Coronavirus threat is close to home

THE coronavirus threat is now close to home.

On Saturday, Queensland Health issued a coronavirus (COVID-19) contact tracing alert after a 63-year-old woman who returned from Iran last Monday and is confirmed to have the disease went back to work on the Gold Coast while potentially infectious.

This alert came the day before Australia recorded its first coronavirus death, with a 78-year-old Perth man who had been a passenger on the infected Diamond Princess cruise ship passing away on Sunday.

The Gold Coast woman works at the Hair Plus beauty salon at the Australia Fair shopping centre at Southport and Queensland Health is asking anyone who attended the salon from 11am onwards last Thursday to go to the Gold Coast University Hospital.

The woman currently is in isolation at Gold Coast University Hospital in a stable condition.

Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said Queensland Health was deploying the same strategy it uses tracking cases of measles in the community to help reduce the risk of spread of the disease.

"Our contact tracing procedures are well underway and we want to take every opportunity to raise awareness of this issue in the community," Dr Young said.

"Queensland Health has very rigorous contact tracing procedures in place and we do this very well dozens of times a year for measles - a disease significantly more infectious than COVID-19."

Queensland Health Minister Steven Miles said Queensland Health will be contacting customers of Hair Plus at Australia Fair, Southport, who had appointments at the salon on Thursday, February 27, and may have been in close contact with the woman.

"If you went to Australia Fair but did not go to that particular hair salon on Thursday, there is no need for concern, but if you would like any advice, phone ring 13HEALTH," he said.

Dr Young said travellers and members of the public should be alert for any symptoms of illness.

As of Saturday, there are 25 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Australia.

If you have been overseas in the last 14 days and feel unwell, the advice is to see a doctor.