UNIVERSITY Hospital Limerick is currently investigating a suspected case of the Wuhan coronavirus this Friday evening.
As of yet, there have been no confirmed cases of the virus in Ireland.
The individual with the suspected case is understood to have visited China in recent weeks or was in contact with another individual with the virus, and is presenting with flu-like symptoms.
When a facility comes into contact with a suspected case, an activation plan is implemented by staff under national guidelines.
Individuals are kept in isolation as part of activation plans in cases of suspected coronavirus.
Also as part of activation plans, a specimen sample is taken from the patient which is then sent to a lab for examination. The results take approximately 24 hours.
The Limerick Leader has contacted UL Hospitals Group regarding the matter, and was told to re-direct the query to the HSE, who in turn informed the Limerick Leader that the Department of Health was dealing with the issue.
A Department of Health spokesperson said: "There have been 15 suspected cases of Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) tested in the National Virus Reference Laboratory (NVRL) as of Monday 3 February. To date, there are no confirmed cases of Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in Ireland.
"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."
So far, deaths associated with the virus have surpassed 600, and infections have risen above 31,000.
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:
- 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