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Toi Te Ora Public Health has a new website, please go to for the latest public health information.

Novel coronavirus considered unlikely
28 January 2020

A person who died unexpectedly in Te Puke on Sunday had recently travelled to China.

Where someone dies unexpectedly follow up investigations usually take place, and this is currently underway.

“From the information we have, it is very unlikely that this person had the coronavirus,” says Dr Neil de Wet, Medical Officer of Health for Toi Te Ora Public Health. “However, as the person had travelled recently to China, we have undertaken to rule out coronavirus as a possible cause, and also to provide reassurance to the family.”

“Our sympathies are with the family at this difficult time,” says Dr de Wet.

There are no cases of novel coronavirus (or 2019-nCoV) in New Zealand to date. Information is being provided to returning travellers, and public health services will actively follow up any instances where coronavirus infection may be a possibility to assess the risk.  This will help ensure anyone with infection is identified early and can be isolated and their contacts followed up so the infection does not spread. 

As always, travellers who become sick within a month of their arrival are encouraged to seek medical advice and contact Healthline (for free) on 0800 611 116 or a doctor. It is important to mention recent travel to China and any known contact with someone with severe respiratory illness who has been in China.

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Last modified: 17 Feb 2021
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