The growing spread of the coronavirus in Ireland has forced a spotlight on the guidelines telling workers returning from at-risk areas to resume employment if they didn't have symptoms of the illness.
The general advice is that people who have been in at-risk zones need not self-isolate unless they have symptoms. Healthcare workers are an exception and are asked not to go to work for 14 days.
When the GP in Clare and his family returned from a skiing holiday nearly two weeks ago in northern Italy, the at-risk areas were confined to around 11 towns none of which it is believed they had visited. However, the affected area of north Italy has now been extended to a broader region.
Healthcare workers are now being told they need to isolate themselves for two weeks if they have been in China, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, Iran and the Lombardy, Veneto, Emilia-Romagna and Piedmont regions of northern Italy.
However, the original advice remains unchanged for other workers. They are being told they only need to contact a GP if they develop any potential symptoms of the virus.
This contrasts with the advice given in the UK to travellers who return from countries like Italy which have high levels of the virus.
In the UK, people are told they should stay indoors and avoid contact with others if they have been in the worst-hit areas of northern Italy.
In hindsight, there may have been an argument here for healthcare staff and possibly teachers to remain out of bounds for the two-week spell, even if they felt well.
The Clare GP and his family at the centre of four confirmed cases would have followed the official advice to resume work and school if they had no symptoms after their mid-term break in north Italy.
Once anyone who has been in these virus-hit countries thinks they have symptoms, they should seek medical advice.
Public health doctors will decide if they should go into isolation and be tested.
If the guidelines are tightened for all, it would mean many more people who have not caught the virus abroad would needlessly quarantine themselves, with all the disruption and inconvenience it would bring.
But it would reduce the odds of somebody with mild symptoms, who is unaware they are a risk, potentially unwittingly passing it on before their condition worsens and they realise they have been circulating with the virus.
The emergence of a GP as a coronavirus victim also highlights how, if they are unaware they are infected, they can expose vulnerable patients to the virus. A daily surgery seeing a roomful of patients, home visits and even shifts in a hospital could all be part of a doctor's busy week after returning from one of these worst-hit countries.
It is the natural instinct of conscientious GPs and hospital staff to continue to soldier on even if they feel unwell and this is frequently the case regardless of any coronavirus risk. There remains a shortage of GPs in many rural areas and there is a strong sense of loyalty to patients and colleagues not to call in sick.
This mentality is something the health service will have to address as the coronavirus spreads here, and there are more demands at every level from frontline to backroom.
Much of the official advice now to health staff emphasises the need to protect themselves from infected patients by taking proper precautions such as wearing the correct protective gear. The risk also remains that a doctor or a healthcare worker can be a grave risk to their patients if they fail to self-isolate.
It could mean healthcare facilities become potential hotspots for the virus.
The environment for healthcare workers will become more challenging as the coronavirus crisis gets a stronger grip here. In China, two in every five early infections were acquired in hospital, and two-thirds of these were healthcare workers, a significant number of whom died.
As the coronavirus affects more of the wider population, medical professionals will be in a special situation as they face multiple potential exposures to infection.
It remains one of the realities of life that doctors deliver advice daily to patients but fail to follow their own counsel on slowing down.