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Fifth Australian infected with coronavirus, hundreds more trapped in China

Chris Smith

A fifth case of coronavirus has been detected in Australia, with a young New South Wales woman the latest to be infected.

There were already three confirmed cases in NSW, and another in Melbourne, before a 21-year-old woman became the latest to test positive.

The deadly virus has killed 56 people in China, with more than 2000 people infected.

Victims initially present with symptoms similar to a common cold, suffering from a fever, sore throat, coughing and shortness of breath.

All travel out of Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak, has been halted leaving more than 100 Australian children trapped in the Hubei province.

Many had been in the area celebrating the Lunar New Year holiday with Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne telling Chris Smith diplomats are working to get them out.

“It’s not one single group and that makes it difficult for us to provide a definitive figure on the number of Australians who are in Wuhan or even further across Hubei province.

“And dual nationals may also, of course, be part of that process and if they have travelled on their Chinese passport then that makes it difficult for us to track down.”

Click PLAY to hear the latest update

There are fears the number of cases in Australia could surge, with dozens of flights arriving from China into Australia every day.

All passengers arriving from China are now being met by biosecurity staff and health officials at the airport.

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard tells Chris Smith the latest case, a 21-year-old NSW woman, self-reported and has been quarantined.

“She has done the right thing. When she started to feel ill she got herself into isolation, which is what should happen.

“And when the preliminary results came back from laboratories, she’s now been transferred to a hospital.”

Click PLAY below to hear the latest update Minister Hazzard

Australians who believe they have family in the affected area, or any Australians who are in the area, are encouraged to contact the consular emergency line on 1300 555 135 (in Australia) or +61 2 6261 3305 (overseas).


Image: Getty/Kevin Frayerd