In this delicate moment we are facing the emerging of the coronavirus pandemic and it is every person’s responsibility to act in accordance with the directions of healthcare officials and Government health bodies.
On the 11th of March 2020 the WHO has declared the coronavirus infection a pandemic occurrence. The Government and the Health Department are rapidly implementing measures to maximise the containment of the number of people affected by the virus.
This coronavirus (officially named Covid-19) transmits from person to person in the same way like a common flu. This is the only similarity it shares with common flu viruses.
According to DHHS - Department of Health and Human Services (https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/victorian-public-coronavirus-disease-covid-19) You are most at risk if you:
Travelled or transited through a number of countries affected by the pandemic
Have had a contact with a person affected by Covid-19
If you have been overseas in the past 14 days or have had a close contact with an infected individual you are advised to:
stay at home (self-quarantine)
avoid public settings - this means you should not attend work, school,
childcare or university or go to other public places such as restaurants,
cinemas or shopping centres and should not use public transport or taxis
do this for 14 days after leaving overseas or being exposed to the virus, other than when seeking medical care
Only people who usually live in the household should be in the home.
Do not allow visitors into the home.
You should stay in a different room to other people as much as possible.
The situation is evolving rapidly as we find out more about this disease. Increasing numbers of countries are reporting cases with rapid increases in many places.
As such all travellers returning from any country outside Australia are now considered at risk of COVID-19.
If you have returned from international travel in the last 14 days and begin to feel unwell and develop a fever or shortness of breath, a cough or respiratory illness, you should call thededicated hotline on 1800 675 398 for advice.
IF YOU FEEL UNWELL
If you are in any of these risk categories and begin to feel unwell and develop a fever or shortness of breath, a cough or respiratory illness either during your period of isolation (self-quarantine), or in the 14 days since arriving home from international travel, you should seek immediate medical attention.
Call ahead to your GP or emergency department and mention your overseas travel before you arrive at the doctor’s office so they can prepare appropriate infection control measures.
If you have serious symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, call 000 and ask for an ambulance and tell the operator your recent travel history.
Elderly or have pre-existing medical conditions
Many people will suffer only mild symptoms, however, early indications are that the elderly and people with pre-existing medical conditions such as heart and lung disease are more at risk of experiencing severe symptoms.
Before your next consultation I strongly invite you to read carefully more official key messages and guidelines of the DHHS - Department of Health and Human Services in relation to preventative measures to minimise the risk of spreading or contracting Covid-19.
For now in order to ensure my patients the safest environment I could decide to take some preventative measures before and during the consultation, including possibly wearing a mask, taking patients temperature, disinfect the consulting room or asking patients to disinfect their hands, or decide to temporarily avoid face to face consultation.
The clinics where I practice are already applying adequate measures to minimise risks for employees and patients.
Please feel free to contact me for more information.
Never like before our behaviour will determine the severity of the outcomes of this pandemic. Despite sooner or later the crisis will resolve we should not underestimate the current situation and we must adapt our habits accordingly.