A fourth Queensland case of coronavirus has been confirmed, with the person identified as another member of the Chinese tour group that has been the source of the other three cases in the state so far.
All of the state’s confirmed cases of the new virus, including an eight-year-old boy, have come from the one Chinese tour group, who flew into the Gold Coast from Melbourne on January 27.
The nine tourists have all been in isolation in the Gold Coast University Hospital for a week.
Queensland’s latest case, a 37-year-old man, takes the number of people diagnosed with the novel coronavirus in Australia to 14, including four in Victoria, four in NSW and two in South Australia.
Queensland Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said all four cases in the state were stable.
It comes amid concerns that health messages are being ignored by some in the community. A Brisbane primary school student was sent home into quarantine on Wednesday after telling teachers of a recent trip to China during the school holidays.
The Courier-Mail understands the school phoned the student’s father to come and collect the child, who was not showing symptoms, but should have been isolated at home for 14 days after returning from overseas.
More than 24,000 people have been infected with the new virus and confirmed deaths are close to 500, but most cases have been confined to mainland China as other countries take extreme measures to prevent the spread of the virus.
The novel coronavirus is believed to have begun in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December.
As of Wednesday morning, Queensland Health had tested 526 samples from 458 people, indicating some people have been screened more than once for the potentially deadly virus.
The test can only pick up evidence of the Wuhan coronavirus if a person has symptoms, such as a fever, headache, cough and difficulty breathing.
Queensland’s latest positive test comes as two Australians are treated in hospital after contracting the virus while on-board a cruise ship, which has anchored off Yokohama, Japan.
More than 200 Australians are also among about 2600 passengers and more than 1000 crew members of the Diamond Princess still on-board the ship in mandatory quarantine.
An 80-year-old Hong Kong man is believed to have tested positive on Saturday after returning home from his cruise, triggering health screens of other passengers still on-board.
Deborah Winkler and her Husband Kareem Abdelmaksoud from Canberra boarded the boat on January 20, and were due back at work this week.
They are expected to be stuck in their cabin on the ship in quarantine for 14 days.
“At the moment all we can do is open the door and look down the corridor – which is mostly empty,” Ms Winkler said. “If we have to stay in the room for too long we will probably get cabin fever.
“Kareem went for a walk early and was advised by one of the staff to return to the room. He told me all of the dining facilities are closed off.
“We have had food delivered to our cabin around 10.45am for breakfast. The captain put out an announcement about also protecting the health of the staff who are now wearing gloves and many are now wearing face masks.”
Although Japanese officials on-board the ship have been performing health checks on passengers and crew for signs of the virus, Ms Winkler said on Wednesday she and her husband had still not been screened.