27 confirmed cases and 1 dead: How coronavirus is currently impacting Australia.

At least 86,000 people have been infected with COVID-19 globally. Colloquially known as ‘Novel coronavirus‘, the illness has caused close to 3,000 deaths worldwide.

The first case of COVID-19 was detected at the end of 2019 in Wuhan, China, with a large seafood market in a central residential district believed to be the primary source. Now, two months following the outbreak of the epidemic, the threat posed by coronavirus only continues to grow.

So, how is COVID-19 impacting Australia specifically?

On Sunday morning, the first fatality from COVID-19 on Australian soil was confirmed after an elderly man died overnight in a Perth hospital.

Here’s everything we know about the impact the virus is having on Australians.

How many people have COVID-19 in Australia?

As of Sunday morning, 27 people have contracted COVID-19 in Australia.

This includes nine patients in Queensland, eight in Victoria, five in New South Wales, three in South Australia and two in Western Australia.

Fifteen of these cases have recovered, with the remaining cases in a stable condition. Nine of the patients are associated with the Diamond Princess repatriation flight from Japan.

Listen to this episode of The Quicky, where the team investigates coronavirus conspiracy theories. Post continues below.

On Sunday morning news broke that a 78-year-old Perth man had become the first Australian to pass away from the illness. He had contracted the illness while aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship. The elderly man was being treated in Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital when he passed away overnight.

Elderly people, particularly those over the age of 80, as well as those with health issues like diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease are most at risk of developing COVID-19.

On Saturday, a beautician became the ninth Queenslander to contract coronavirus. She had seen up to 40 people at the Hair Plus salon at Australia Fair at Southport on Thursday – sparking concern for her clients and colleagues.

Two of those diagnosed in Australia came from Iran, which has the largest reported number of deaths from coronavirus outside of Hubei Province, China.

What is the Australian Government doing about COVID-19?

coronavirus in australia
Kids wear makeshift homemade protection and protective masks while waiting to check in to a flight at Beijing Capital Airport on January 30, 2020 in Beijing, China. Image: Getty.

This week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a raft of measures designed to curb the threat of COVID-19.

The Morrison government placed an extension of the ban on foreign nationals entering Australia within 14 days of leaving China. Plus, an emergency plan has been activated to ensure there are adequate medical supplies and protective equipment across the country.

On Saturday, the government raised the travel advice for Iran, where 43 people have died and almost 6000 have been infected.

Australians are advised not to travel to Iran and foreigners coming from Iran will be banned from entering Australia.

How to protect yourself from COVID-19.

There are increasing reports of Australian citizens 'stocking up' on pantry items and essentials due to fears of the potentially dire future of COVID-19.

A spokesperson for Woolworths told Sydney Morning Herald they have "seen a sharp increase in demand for long life pantry items and household staples in recent days, which has led to partial stock shortages across some of our stores."

The publication further reported that health experts are encouraging people to stock up on food over the next few weeks to ensure you are covered if there is an epidemic in Australia.

The World Health Organisation also suggests that everyone "stays aware of the latest information on the COVID outbreak".

They also say to maintain at least one metre distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing, to make sure you follow good respiratory hygiene and to stay at home if you feel unwell.

Quick facts about COVID-19.

The CCDCP report, which looked at over 72,000 recorded cases, put the fatality rate of COVID-19 at 2.3 per cent. In other words, 2.3 per cent of the people diagnosed died as a result of the disease.

What are the symptoms? Those who contract COVID-19 start showing symptoms between 10-14 days later. It presents as a respiratory illness, that can be as mild as a common-cold or as severe as pneumonia. Symptoms include runny nose, sore throat, headache, fever and cough.

How is it spread? There is currently no definitive answer on how COVID-19 is spread between humans, but Professor Sanjaya Senanayake told The Quicky that similar viruses are transmitted via respiratory droplets, contact with contaminated surfaces and bodily fluids including blood, urine and faeces.

Can anyone die? Many of those that have been killed by COVID-19 had pre-existing health issues, including heart disease.

Is there a cure? No. A vaccine is currently being developed, but that process is likely to take months.

Feature Image: Getty. 

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