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COVID-19

If you have an appointment in the coming weeks at The Lung Health Clinic, we kindly request that if any of the following applies to you, to contact us immediately on 6180 4360 or email: admin@lunghealth.net.au

• Have travelled internationally in the last 3 weeks
• Have been in contact with someone who has travelled internationally in the last 3 weeks
• If you are showing any signs or symptoms of a ‘cold’ (fever, cough etc)

We in no way wish to create a panic, however your health, the health and safety of our staff and patients is imperative and we are taking every precaution to ensure protection against transmission of the virus, even at this early stage of infection in Australia.

What is COVID-19?
Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.

Symptoms
Symptoms can range from mild illness to pneumonia. Some people will recover easily, and others may get very sick very quickly. People with coronavirus may experience:
• fever
• flu-like symptoms such as coughing, sore throat and fatigue
• shortness of breath

Who is at risk?
Some people who are infected may not get sick at all, some will get mild symptoms from which they will recover easily, and others may become very ill, very quickly and death rates worldwide (diverse health systems) are between 2 and 3%. From previous experience with other coronaviruses, the people at most risk of serious infection are:
• people with compromised immune systems, such as people with cancer and those on immunosuppressive drugs
• elderly people >70 – this appears to be particularly for the current Coronavirus Covid-19
• Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
• people with diagnosed chronic medical conditions.
• Infected patients under the age of 20 represent < 2% of all cases worldwide,

How is it spread?
The coronavirus is most likely to spread from person-to-person through:
• direct close contact with a person while they are infectious
• close contact with a person with a confirmed infection who coughs or sneezes, or
• touching objects or surfaces (such as door handles or tables) contaminated from a cough or sneeze from a person with a confirmed infection, and then touching your mouth or face.

Most infections are only transmitted by people when they have symptoms. These can include fever, a cough, sore throat, tiredness and shortness of breath. However our understanding of who is infectious is still evolving.

How can we stop the spread of the virus?
Practising good hand and sneeze/cough hygiene is the best defence against most viruses. You should:
• wash your hands frequently with soap and water, or alcohol based sanitiser before and after eating, and after going to the toilet and after touching objects in public places
• cover your cough and sneeze, dispose of tissues, and carry alcohol-based hand sanitizer with you
• if unwell, avoid contact with others (touching, kissing, hugging, hand shaking & other intimate contact).


What should I do if I develop symptoms?
If you develop symptoms (fever, a cough, sore throat, tiredness or shortness of breath) within 14 days of returning home from overseas travel or within 14 days of last contact of a confirmed case, or within 14 days of contact with someone whom you know has visited areas of high disease prevalence you should call 1800 020 080 for further advice. DO NOT PRESENT TO THE LUNG HEALTH CLINIC. However you are welcome to ring us if you wish. You must remain isolated either in your home or in a healthcare setting until public health authorities inform you it is safe for you to return to your usual activities.

Who needs to Isolate?
To help limit the spread of coronavirus, you must isolate yourself in the following circumstances:
• If you have travelled outside of Australia in the last 14 days
• If you visited mainland China, Japan, Singapore, Iran, Italy, South Korea, Indonesia/Bali and Thailand in the last 21 days
• If you have been in close contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus, you must isolate yourself for 14 days from the date of last contact with the confirmed case.

How is COVID-19 treated?
There is no specific treatment for coronaviruses. Antibiotics are not effective against viruses. Most of the symptoms can be treated with supportive medical care. However it is possible you could catch a secondary bacterial infection.

Will a face mask help?
You do not need to wear a mask if you are healthy. While the use of masks can help to prevent transmission of disease from infected patients to others, masks are not currently recommended for use by healthy members of the public for the prevention of infections like coronavirus.

What if I want to travel or have a trip booked?
Due to the situation changing on a daily basis, we cannot offer any travel advice.
Please refer to the federal government website: www.health.gov.au
or call 1800 020 080


Additional information
For the latest advice, information and resources, go to: www.health.gov.au
Call the National Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080. It operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you require translating or interpreting services, call 131 450.
The phone number of your state or territory public health agency is available at www.health.gov.au/state-territory-contacts


Disclaimer:
This is a constantly evolving situation and we will update regularly but this is our best understanding as of the 10th March 2020.