It comes as the first case of the potentially deadly Coronavirus has been diagnosed in the US, as planes arriving to Sydney from the Wuhan area in China will begin being screened this morning.
The Prime Minister has raised the travel advice for Wuhan City in China to level 2 following the spread of the outbreak across the world.
Australia’s Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy told Today the man in Brisbane is well, and is at home.
“What I’ve been told is that the tests aren’t back yet, but that the person is well and is now at home in home quarantine, awaiting for the tests,” Mr Murphy said.
“But the good news is that there’s no clinical concern about this person but we still don’t know whether they’ve had this virus or just another virus such as flu.”
Mr Murphy said there is a number of reasons why Australian authorities are concerns about the spread of the virus.
“That there have been significant increases in case numbers in Wuhan in China, where the disease originated.
“We now have evidence of some human to human transmission which we didn’t have before. And whilst there are many mild cases, there have been some serious cases and as we’ve heard this morning, reports of up to six deaths.
“So for that reason, we have in Australia instituted proportionate border measures in relation to direct flights to Wuhan but I should say that we are very well prepared as a nation to deal with any case of any of this disease if it does come here from China.”
There are three flights a week from Wuhan into Sydney and each of these flights will be met by biosecurity staff.
Information will be displayed across all other points of entry into Australia to warn people who develop symptoms to seek urgent medical attention.
NSW Health announced it will assist commonwealth biosecurity staff at Sydney Airport to monitor those returning from Wuhan.
No cases of the novel coronavirus have been detected in NSW, the department said.
Health workers in the state’s public hospitals, as well as community-based GPs, have also been given precautionary advice and the department has made novel coronavirus 2019 a notifiable disease under law.
In the US, the infected man returned to the Seattle area in the middle of last week after travelling to the Wuhan area, where the outbreak began.
The man, who is in his 30s, is in good condition at a hospital in Everett, outside Seattle.
He is not considered a threat to medical staff or the public, health officials said.
They said he had no symptoms when he arrived at the Seattle-Tacoma airport, but he contacted doctors on Sunday when he started feeling ill.
The US is the fifth country to report seeing the illness, following China, Thailand, Japan, and South Korea.
“One of the particular features of this virus is that nearly everyone has a fever,” Mr Murphy said.
“But it is not distinguishable from the flu and it is flu season in China at the moment. That is why we are very much focussing our attention on those direct flights from Wuhan where there is a higher risk but again, people with – who are unwell who, come off a flight like that, are probably just as likely to not have this virus as something else.
“But that is why we have developed protocols for the bio security officers and the Public Health officers and the Public Health officers to try to determine whether the risk is significant.”
NSW Director of Health Protection Dr Jeremy McNaulty told Today that anyone who may be experiencing symptoms should get assessed as soon as they start experiencing them.
“Fever, cough, shortness of breath, those sorts of respiratory symptom, call ahead so the doctor can prepare,” he said.
“You don’t want to be waiting around with other people in the waiting room.
“The doctor can then assess you and with discussion with experts in public health, do the right tests.
Last month, doctors began seeing the new type of viral pneumonia – fever, cough, difficulty breathing – in people who spent time at a food market in Wuhan.
More than 275 cases of the newly identified coronavirus have been confirmed in China, most of them in Wuhan, according to the World Health Organisation.
The count includes six deaths – all in China, most of them age 60 or older, including at least some who had a previous medical condition.