Australia

Up to 40 people possibly exposed to coronavirus at Gold Coast salon

A 63-year-old woman who has recently returned from Iran is in isolation at the Gold Coast University Hospital. Source: Gold Coast University Hospital

Up to 40 people were possibly exposed to the coronavirus at a Gold coast beauty salon.

Customers of a Gold Coast hair and beauty salon are being urged to come forward after a worker became the ninth Queenslander to contract coronavirus.

The beautician saw up to 40 people at the Hair Plus salon at Australia Fair at Southport on Thursday.

Queensland's chief medical officer Dr Jeannette Young said while health officials were in the process of contacting customers, not everyone was accounted for.

"We know that they haven't got records of all of these clients because a lot pay by cash," she said.

Dr Young asked anyone who visited the salon from 11am on Thursday to contact Gold Coast University Hospital (GCUH).

She said because most of the contact the 63-year-old had with each customer was less than 15 minutes, the risk she had passed on the virus was "incredibly low".

The woman, who returned to Australia from Iran on February 24, went home from work on Thursday as soon as she developed symptoms.

  

She then got tested at GCUH, where she remains in isolation.

Dr Young said the beautician was to be commended for her actions.

"This is what we need everyone to do," she said.

"If you've been overseas and you come back to Queensland and feel unwell with any symptom, then go and get that advice."

Dr Young said given the increasing number of countries where Covid-19 had been found, people couldn't know which places were at risk and which weren't.

"We know that we'll be seeing a pandemic result through the world," she said.

"It's not been declared yet but we know that we'll be seeing an epidemic here in Queensland eventually."

However, both Dr Young and Queensland Health Minister Steve Miles said coronavirus remained contained across the state.

Queensland Health Minister Steven Miles
Queensland Health Minister Steven Miles.
AAP

Elderly people, particularly those over the age of 80, as well as those with health issues like diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease are most at risk of developing Covid-19.

The total number of Australians who have contracted coronavirus now stands at 25.

According to the federal health department there are 84,117 cases worldwide and 2872 reported deaths.

Overnight, the World Heath Organisation increased the risk of the spread of the disease to "very high", with the number of countries now infected rising to 55.

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