CoronaVirus

If you suspect you may have CoronaVirus telephone Floreat Medical first on 9387 6000 to speak with your doctor before coming to the surgery.

By calling ahead your doctor can make a clinical decision whether you are to be seen in the practice, referred to an Emergency Department or sent to a public pathology clinic for testing for the CoronaVirus. Your doctor will notify the relevant authorities prior to you going there.

 

What is CoronaVirus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some cause illness in humans, and others cause illness in animals such as bats, camels and civets. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can evolve to infect and spread among humans, causing severe diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) which emerged in 2002, and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) which emerged in 2012.

A novel coronavirus, referred to as ‘2019-nCoV’, is a new strain of coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans. The majority of cases are people in mainland China who have recently been in the city of Wuhan, China. There is much more to learn about the 2019-nCoV including how it is spread, its severity, and other features, and investigations are ongoing.

Outbreaks of 2019-nCoV infections among people is a public health concern. There is evidence that 2019-nCoV can spread from person to person in the community and in health care settings. There have been cases of 2019-nCoV reported in several Asian and other countries including Australia. The situation is evolving rapidly.

For the latest health updates from Commonwealth Department of Health go here.

 

What are the symptoms?

Most case-patients have had fever, cough, and shortness of breath, with further evidence of pneumonia (chest infection).

The incubation period (time between exposure and onset of symptoms) likely ranges between two and 14 days.

How is it spread?

Most of the early reported cases had contact with a seafood and live animal market, suggesting an animal source of the outbreak. However, most cases are now likely to be spread from person to person by droplets when coughing. To avoid spreading hygiene is very important – wash hands frequently, wipe down surfaces, cough into tissues or into your elbow, and dispose of tissues.

 

What treatment to get if you suspect CoronaVirus?

If a patient tests positive to the 2019-nCoV then ISOLATION is paramount to prevent further spreading of the virus. The patient may be cared for at home if they can maintain good hygiene and infection control; or managed in hospital.  They will be interviewed by the Public Health Unit. Care is supportive; other bacterial and viral infections will be treated. All pathology testing and treatment in the Public Hospital setting is free.

The following isolation requirements apply as at 6 February 2020:

  • if you have travelled to Hubei Province within the past 14 days, you must isolate yourself until 14 days after you left Hubei Province
  • if you have left or transited through mainland China on or after 1 February 2020 you must isolate yourself until 14 days after leaving China
  • if you have been in close contact with a confirmed case of novel coronavirus, you must isolate yourself for 14 days after last contact with the confirmed case

Importantly, these requirements apply to students attending childcare, school or higher education.

 

For information from the World Health Organisation (WHO) go here.