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ASAPS Issues guidelines to Specialist Plastic Surgeons in response to coronavirus outbreak

Posted on Friday, 31 January 2020

As the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus continues to climb in Australia, now at seven, the Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS) has issued guidelines to its members about treating patients who have recently returned from China.

Dr Naveen Somia, President of ASAPS, said with so much uncertainty about how contagious and life-threatening this virus is, ASAPS recommends that Specialist Plastic Surgeons exercise extreme caution when dealing with patients at risk. Specialist Plastic Surgeons may encounter a patient who had cosmetic surgery in China come in for routine post-operative review and care. Some patients would likely have scheduled elective cosmetic surgery to be performed in Australia soon upon arrival from their holiday overseas.

“Cosmetic tourism is a popular choice for some Australians who chose to go to Asia for surgery. In the current climate, having an invasive cosmetic surgical procedure would have significant additional risks due to the coronavirus outbreak. If you suspect the patient could be at risk due to travel to China, it is advisable to defer surgery to protect the patient,” Dr Somia said.

More than 130 people have now died from the mysterious new coronavirus, according to official Chinese statistics, but the real number is likely much higher. A shortage of test kits has hindered health official’s ability to diagnose and track the illness accurately.

The number of confirmed cases increased to 6,065 worldwide on Wednesday, according to the World Health Organization, with all but 68 of the infections taking place in mainland China. On Tuesday, there were 4,593 infections worldwide.

• Thailand has reported 14 cases of infection.
• Hong Kong has 10.
• The United States, Taiwan, Australia and Japan have seven.
• France and Macau have five each.
• Germany, Singapore, South Korea and Malaysia each have reported four.
• Canada has three.
• Vietnam has two, and Nepal, Cambodia, and the United Arab Emirates each have one.

Australia’s Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy said that anyone who has returned to Australia from Wuhan, the ground-zero for the deadly coronavirus, must isolate themselves for 14 days.

“Very recent cases of the disease in patients with no or minimal symptoms have been detected. Health authorities believe one patient passed on the virus two days before symptoms appeared.

“These developments mean that anyone who has travelled to the Hubei province, not just Wuhan, must spend a fortnight in self-isolation, even if they have not been in contact with someone with the virus.

“The 14 days starts from the day they landed in Australia,” Dr Murphy said.

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Media contact: Julia Power, National PR and Marketing Manager, 0414 276 990

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